Metabolism is at the interface of oncogenic signalling, it is essential for tumour growth and all the Hallmarks of Cancer. Additionally, the local microenvironment is modelled by metabolism, which has major influences on the immune response. Angiogenesis and hypoxia are key processes that tune metabolism and induce evolutionary tumour behaviour. Additionally, hypoxia and metabolism affect the response to all major therapies, including novel treatments such as gene therapy and targeted drugs.
New imaging modalities will enable us to follow metabolism in vivo in patients in trials and many new pathways with the possibility of drug targeting have been developed in Oxford, through collaborations with the Targeted Discovery Institute, Structural Genome Consortium and Chemistry. Analytical pathways for metabolites have been developed to internationally leading standards by Professor Benedikt Kessler in the NDM and Professor James McCullagh in the Department of Chemistry, who support many of the clinical studies in Oxford. Investigators involved in this area include Professor Adrian Harris on angiogenesis, hypoxia and the effects on metabolism, Professor Len Seymour on gene therapy and its regulation by metabolism, Dr Simon Lord and metabolic studies in breast cancer, Professor Sarah Blagden and the role of RNA binding proteins in metabolism, Dr Vincenzo D’Angiolella on nucleotide metabolism and cancer therapy and Professor McKenna and Dr Geoff Higgins on modulation of metabolism to improve radiotherapy.