Precision Therapeutics

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Dr Naureen Starling (left), Co-Theme Lead, and Professor Robin Jones (right), Co-Theme Lead, for Precision Therapeutics
Dr Naureen Starling (left), Co-Theme Lead, and Professor Robin Jones (right), Co-Theme Lead, for Precision Therapeutics

Developing drug treatments for specific cancers tailored to each patient

Many people with cancer are given ‘one-size-fits-all’ treatments, meaning many patients are subjected to ineffective treatments that cause negative side effects.

Recent advances provide an opportunity to tailor treatment to individual patients. 

Our researchers are developing targeted treatments for specific common and rare cancers that directly target the cancer. They are also using knowledge of cancer biology to develop tests that look for biological traits of cancer (biomarkers). These can all then be used to increase the chances of patients surviving cancer.

Theme aims

We aim to:

  • Develop approaches to target drug resistance in cancer.
  • Extend our understanding and ability to treat patients using drugs to help change the genes within cancer cells, which will selectively kill cancer cells.
  • Develop drug trials guided by specific genetic code.
  • Tailor treatment to each patient’s specific cancer to spare them unnecessary treatment and improve survival.
  • Use tests that look at complete sets of genes to direct choice of additional post-operative drugs.

Co-Theme Leads

Dr Naureen Starling is a Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and a Reader at The Institute of Cancer Research, London. She is a specialist in the treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) cancers.

Professor Robin Jones is a Consultant Medical Oncologist and Head of the Sarcoma Unit at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Professor of Sarcoma Oncology at The Institute of Cancer Research. Professor Jones is a specialist in the treatment of bone and soft tissue sarcomas and focuses on developing novel therapies for these diseases.