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Optimising the way we test cancer drugs

  • Researcher: Professor Angelo De Milito
  • Institution: Karolinska Institutet
  • Award Amount: £205,779 for 4 years from November 2011
  • Cancer Type: General Cancer Research
Optimising the way we test cancer drugs
The physical cancer microenvironment consists of the space surrounding cancer cells within the tumour mass. Recent research has shown this microenvironment is often very acidic (low pH) and hypoxic (low oxygen) which can allow cancer cells to become more malignant and to develop resistance to drug treatments. With his Worldwide Cancer Research grant Dr De Milito is analysing how this acidic microenvironment is established and what survival mechanisms the cancer cells develop in order to grow and to avoid death when treated with cancer drugs. Usually, cancer drugs are tested at neutral pH conditions in presence of normal oxygen pressure, therefore Dr De Milito also plans to test a large number of drugs, known as drug-libraries, to see if any new drug works well in acidic and hypoxic conditions, which more closely resemble the environment they would be working in inside a patient's tumour.
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