Doctors looking at scan

Researchers launch strategy to double cancer survival rate

The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and The Institute of Cancer Research, London have launched a joint five-year strategy that aims to set out how we can double the survival rate of people with advanced cancer within a decade.

The two organisations’ strategy has three main pillars – world class cancer research, inspiring tomorrow’s leaders, and growing patient impact.

Ultimately, the two organisations want to “unravel and disrupt cancer ecosystems” and have identified a series of ways to do this.

They include:

  • Predicting how cancer evolves in different ecosystems
  • Identifying how the various types of tumour cells mesh together and interact to create their ecosystems
  • Investigating ways to target the previously healthy tissue with drugs to flush the cancer out
  • Exploring how to catch cancer earlier
  • Finding ways to combine treatments to boost the immune system’s robustness

Professor Kristian Helin, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said: “Our leading scientists and clinicians have identified cancer’s evolution within a complex ecosystem as a major challenge and opportunity for the next five years.

“We have created a really exciting plan to unravel and disrupt cancer’s ecosystems, with new immunotherapies, drugs to target the tissue environment, and clever new anti-evolution combinations and dosing strategies.

“Research has been a driver for remarkable improvements in treatments in recent decades, but we believe we can go even further and eradicate some cancers by targeting the ecosystems required for their growth, or tipping the balance in favour of the immune system.

“We’re also confident that through the use of artificial intelligence in combination with detailed biological insights, we can find ways of combining existing treatments to control cancer’s evolution within its ecosystem and significantly increase the overall survival of cancer patients.”

To read the joint five-year strategy to double cancer survival rates, click here.

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NHE May/June 2024

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