Developing Vascular Targeting Agents as a Method Combating Childhood cancers

This project is focused on the understanding and development of a new class of cancer drug targeting proteins involved in angiogenesis. These agents do not directly kill tumour cells – instead they destroy the blood supply to the tumour whilst not interfering with the normal blood supply in the healthy parts of the body. Destroying blood vessels within the cancer is a highly promising and desirable method of treating tumours.

The destruction of a single blood vessel will kill millions of cancer cells that depend on the vessel to supply food and oxygen. Unfortunately the first examples of this type of compound have been shown to cause damage to the heart and children may be particularly sensitive to this type of toxicity. By altering the chemical structure of this new type of drug we aim to reduce or eliminate this heart toxicity.

One part of this project will be to monitor the effects of our new drugs on heart muscle tissue. At the end of the project we aim to have an improved drug, which shows little or no heart toxicity that would be suitable for further clinical development.

Grant Award – Kidscan PhD Studentship (2011-2014)
Funding Award – £36, 212
Funding Awarded To – Dr John Hadfield
Research Location – University of Salford