Research projects

Three-pronged attack on kidney cancer

Professor Hardev Pandha
Project period
Apr 2019 - September 2022
Research Institute
University of Surrey
Cancer types
Kidney cancer
Close up of researcher working with samples in a lab Professor Hardev Pandha

Aim of the research

Professor Hardev Pandha aims to test a new combination of treatments that could help treat the most severe cases of kidney cancer.

Meet the scientist

Hardev is a clinician scientist and Professor of Urological Oncology, splitting his time between running a research group at the University of Surrey and treating cancer patients in Guildford, Surrey. He has been involved in cancer clinical trials for over 20 years.

More about the research project

Each year there are around 400,000 people worldwide diagnosed with kidney cancer. Survival rates have improved dramatically over the last 40 years, but, in the UK, only half of people will still be alive 10 years after diagnosis. New immunotherapy treatments, such as the drug nivolumab, have helped give patients with advanced kidney cancer a longer and better quality of life, but it only seems to work in around a quarter of patients.

Professor Hardev Pandha, based at the University of Surrey, England, wants to make drugs like nivolumab work for as many patients as possible. His team are investigating a new three-pronged combination therapy that they hope will ultimately improve how nivolumab works. They are using a genetically modified virus that has been designed to help the immune system target and destroy cancer cells, alongside a second drug that “starves” the cancer cells of certain nutrients. Combining these two drugs with nivolumab could make this treatment more effective for more people. All of these drugs are currently being tested in patients so, if successful, this work could be rapidly taking forward into clinical trials.


This project was made possible thanks to a co-funding partnership with Kidney Research UK.

Viruses cause illness and disease, but did you know their infectious properties can also be harnessed to treat cancer?

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