Collaborations with clinical scientists through our university partners and other institutions give our scientists the opportunity to develop their ideas into patient-centred research and clinical studies.
Group leader Dominque Bonnet and postdoc Diana Passaro crossed paths with MRI specialist Bernard Siow at a seminar at the Crick. Their discussions led to them teaming up to develop an imaging technique that measures new leukaemia indicators using existing MRI machines. The technique images patients’ bone marrow and could give patients a more accurate prognosis of their disease.
A grant from the Crick’s i2i (idea to innovation) scheme, funded through the Medical Research Council’s Confidence in Concept programme, allowed the Crick team to hire a new MRI specialist, Ana da Silva Gomes, to work on the project, as well as partner with a healthcare consultancy.
Through the team’s work with the consultancy, they have established links with haematologists and imaging consultants at Barts NHS Trust and will shortly be launching clinical trials as part of the CLEVAR study.
Stopping breast cancer spreading
A partnership between Crick group leader Ilaria Malanchi and researchers at Imperial College London is investigating an approach to try and prevent breast cancer spreading to other parts of the body.
Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in women in the UK, largely due to cancer spreading to other organs (metastatic disease). Currently no therapies are available to prevent or stabilise cancer metastasis.
The Crick and Imperial team are investigating the observation that inhibiting the signalling molecule leukotriene prevents metastases. Under the leadership of principal investigator Charles Coombes at Imperial, the researchers are carrying out a clinical study to measure the effect of zileuton (which suppresses leukotriene formation) on the time to development of new metastases in patients with metastatic breast cancer. The aim is to improve the quality of life as well as the survival of patients with breast cancer.