Early Phase Drug Development

Professor Udai Banerji, Theme Lead for the Early Phase Drug Development Theme
Professor Udai Banerji, Theme Lead for the Early Phase Drug Development Theme

Theme overview

Developing new, ground-breaking treatments that work across the whole body and are tested across different types of cancer rather than specific cancers. This will help fight cancers that stop responding to existing treatments. 

A cancer is metastatic when it has spread to multiple parts of the body. Metastatic cancer is rarely curable due to the ability of cancer cells to evolve and develop resistance to treatment. Therefore, the development of novel anticancer treatments is crucial for patients.

We are helping to fast-track and optimise anticancer drugs and concepts. 

Theme aims

  • We aim to speed up and optimise cancer drug development by conducting crucial first-in-human and early phase clinical studies by:
  • Optimising dose and schedules of new anticancer treatments for adults and children, informing future trials and standard-of-care.
  • Developing and using biological traits (biomarkers) to confirm how drugs work, check how much is needed to produce an effect and see why a cancer might be resistant to a drug.
  • Developing new ideas for combining drugs that are already approved for treatment on their own. This will help us develop trials that will be used to have these combinations approved for regular use in the NHS.

Theme Lead

Professor Udai Banerji is a National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Professor of Molecular Cancer Pharmacology, Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and he is the Deputy Director of the Drug Development Unit at The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden.