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Could a natural dietary component help improve the effects of common chemotherapy drugs?

Researcher
Professor Kevin Ryan
Project period
Nov 2016 - Dec 2019
Country
Research Institute
Beatson Institute for Cancer Research
Cancer types
General cancer research
Professor Kevin Ryan

Aim of the research

Professor Kevin Ryan and his team in Glasgow aim to investigate a potentially very simple way to improve survival rates for standard chemotherapy treatments.

Meet the scientist

Kevin is Professor at the University of Glasgow and the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research where he leads a research team studying how cells control a process called programmed cell death - a process that has stopped working cancer.

More about the research project

"Despite the advent of targeted therapies, conventional chemotherapy remains the standard of care for many patients with cancer," explains Professor Ryan. "And many patients are still receiving drugs that have not changed over decades. For these patients, survival rates have generally little improved. New strategies to enhance the responses to these drugs are therefore greatly needed and hugely overdue." Professor Ryan and his team have spent years searching for compounds which could potentially help improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments, and now they think they have found one. "In our laboratory we have discovered that higher levels of a naturally-occurring component of our diet might enhance the activity of two widely-used cancer drugs. We will now use this new funding to understand how this works. We will then conduct pre-clinical studies to determine the potential of this dietary component to enhance the effectiveness of drugs used to treat specific cancer types. We hope that our studies will ultimately lead to human clinical trials aimed at improving therapy responses for long-term patient benefit."

In our laboratory we have discovered that higher levels of a naturally-occurring component of our diet might enhance the activity of two widely-used cancer drugs.
Professor Kevin Ryan