UoN In Partnership To Research Cancer Therapies

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Oli Harris

The University of Nottingham has announced a partnership with the San Francisco based company XPose Therapeutics, through the Naaz Coker Ovarian Cancer Research Centre (NOVARC), to develop new treatments for ovarian cancer.

The focus of the partnership is on targeted therapies, a branch of medicine that focuses on interrupting signals that tell specific cancer cells to grow. This differs from chemotherapy, in that chemotherapy disrupts growth for all cells in the body.

NOVARC was established in May of 2023 and received a substantial donation of four million pounds from Nottingham alumnus Farid Suleman and his family in memory of Suleman’s sister Naaz Coker, who died from ovarian cancer in 2015.

Ovarian cancer is the 6th most common cause of cancer related death and the 9th most common cause of death among women in the UK, with 7900 more cases each year.

Treatment for the disease usually involves surgical removal of one or both ovaries, accompanied by chemotherapy to kill remaining cancer cells in the body.

In the announcement of the partnership, the university stated they will ‘focus on targets including POLH, APE1, FEN1 and PARP1,’ all of which have been demonstrated to have potential as targeted therapies.

Development of these drugs is important, as some cancers can be resistant to chemotherapy, such as in platinum sensitive cancer, but respond well to targeted therapy.

Oli Harris

Featured image courtesy of Christine Sandu via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

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