On 28th October Secondary1st presented two cheques to help fund research projects at the Beatson Institute at the University of Glasgow and the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics at the University of Bradford. The scientists leading these projects each gave a presentation explaining the nature of their work in some detail.
In Glasgow Dr Seth Coffelt is leading a team which is studying the relationship between cancer and the immune system. He explained that there are several different types of T cells; T cells are a type of white blood cell that is an essential part of the immune system. Among various healthy cells, immune cells have emerged as powerful instigators of metastasis formation but, at the same time, immune cells can also prevent cancer cells from spreading. The team are interested in the two roles of these T cells and how they are involved in the metastatic process, with the ultimate goal of developing new immunotherapies that counteract cancer spread.
Dr Klaus Pors leads a team in Bradford which is examining the enzymes which metabolise certain drugs. Some chemotherapy drugs have been shown to be ultra-potent but are so toxic that they also attack healthy tissue. The project is investigating ways of stopping these drugs attacking healthy tissue and so providing an effective source of treatment for secondary cancer.
This was followed by an informal science fair organised by Breast Cancer Now with an opportunity to conduct some simple experiments and meet the scientists.