Glasgow Beatsons receive £1.9m to break cachexia in cancer

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Scientists at GLASGOW are to receive £1.9 million to find the cause of a debilitating disease that many people experience in the later stages of cancer.

The funding is being provided by the Cancer Grand Challenge, a £425m global research initiative set up to encourage the world’s leading scientists to tackle some of the most difficult problems facing cancer patients.

The Beatson project will focus on uncovering the mechanisms behind cachexia, a poorly understood syndrome characterized by poor appetite and widespread weight loss from both skeletal muscle and fatty tissue that affects patients in advanced stages of the disease. Is.

This can result in patients being too weak to continue with treatment, so stopping it can lead to longer survivals.

The research will be led by Dr David Lewis from the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute and Dr Oliver Maddox from the University of Glasgow.

Dr. Lewis will use state-of-the-art imaging techniques to visualize metabolic abnormalities during cachexia development.

These imaging methods provide new insights into the causes of cachexia and ways to detect it early – offering the best chance of effectively managing the condition.

Dr Lewis said: “The new technologies we now have available for metabolic imaging bring an unprecedented opportunity to image total-body metabolic rewiring during cachexia.

“This means we can now image the entire patient from head to toe so that we can see cross talk between different organs which was not possible before.

“I am excited to be on such an exciting international team.

“Cachexia touches almost every system in the body – so our Cancun [Cancer Cachexia Action Network] The team includes a diverse range of expertise dealing with cachexia, from cancer to metabolism, neuroendocrinology and immunology. ,

Beatson is among four recipients who have been granted a grant in the latest funding round by the Cancer Grand Challenges initiative, which was co-founded by Cancer Research UK and the US-based National Cancer Institute.

Other projects include a UK-US collaboration to bring engineered T cell therapy into the routine treatment of childhood solid cancers, including sarcoma and brain tumors, within a decade; eDyNAmiC3 which will investigate new ways of tackling treatment-resistant cancers; and PROMINENT4 aimed at creating a roadmap for tumor development.

The model of the Cancer Grand Challenge brings together researchers from different countries and disciplines to “think differently” about possible solutions to the disease.

Professor Charles Swanton, Cancer Research UK’s chief physician and member of the Cancer Grand Challenge scientific committee, said: “I have observed for the first time the extreme weight loss and lethargy that patients experience with cancer cachexia and the need to develop treatments with fewer side effects. which also counteracts resistance and proliferation.

“That’s why I’m very excited that we are funding these challenges because they have the potential to make a broad, positive impact for patients.”

Michelle Mitchell, Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, said: “We have seen over the past year how the world’s best scientists and researchers cross borders to tackle COVID-19 and, likewise, the Cancer Grand Challenge shows how shared aspirations The global partnership with

“This global community is taking our research path beyond what is currently known to completely new frontiers in science, where we find new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. to make it a disease from which people no longer die.”

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