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Regional Breast Cancer Academic Day marks NHS retirement for Professor Adrian Harris

This month the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM) hosted the annual Regional Breast Cancer Academic Day, an event that brings together breast cancer teams from across the Thames Valley region. This year’s symposium involved the participation of over 70 attendees, including nurses, clinical trial managers, researchers and doctors.

Curiosity led to the Carnival

On Friday, 29 September the CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology was to be found in the University of Oxford's Natural History Museum building a blood vessel along one of the cloisters overlooked by Charles Darwin.  The Oxford Institute’s blood vessel allowed visitors to explore the complex journey a cancer must take if it is to successfully set up a new colony.

Pedals Power Cancer Research

On 17 August, two heroes arrived at the CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology by bike after a journey of 850 miles.

Sue Duncombe and Patrick McGuire arrived bearing £6000 of funding which they raised by cycling 850 miles from the CRUK Cambridge Research Institute to the Oxford Institute via the CRUK Manchester Institute.  On the way they called in at a staggering 98 CRUK high street shops.

For the last mile of their journey they were met by researchers and students from the Oxford Institute who rode with them as a guard of honour.

Worm study reveals role of stem cells in cancer

A new study carried out by the University of Oxford has used flat worms to look at the role of migrating stem cells in cancer.

Researchers from the Aboobaker lab in the Department of Zoology used the worms (planarians) which are known for their ability to regenerate their tissues and organs repeatedly. This process is enabled by their stem cells, which constantly divide to make new cells.

New anti-cancer drug

The new anti-cancer drug, OMO-1, was given to the first cancer patient in the world last week in Oxford University’s Early Phase trials unit. Dr Sarah Blagden (Oxford’s ECMC lead and Director of the Early Phase Trials Unit) is Chief Investigator of this Phase I/II study of the combined c-MET/ OCT-1 inhibitor OMO-1 that was outlicenced from Janssen Pharmaceutica to be developed by the Belgian life science company OCTIMET Oncology NV.

Congratulations to student prize winners

The 5th Annual Oncology Student Symposium held at St Anne’s College on Thursday, 13 July was a great success with  a full day of talks in the Mary Ogilvie lecture theatre and a poster session in the marquee within the beautiful surroundings of the St Anne’s Quad.   The judges commented on how high the standard of work was this year, making their decision all the more challenging.

The prizes for the four categories were awarded as follows: 

Oxford collaborative science opens the way for a new drug for bowel cancer patients across the UK

Today a new drug will become available for patients with bowel cancer as part of a national clinical trial; based on a scientific discovery made only two years ago at the University of Oxford. A yeast genetics research group led by Professor Tim Humphrey in Oxford discovered an Achilles heel of certain cancer cells – mutations in a gene called SETD2. Prof Humphrey and his team showed that cancer cells with a mutated SETD2 gene were killed by an experimental drug being developed by Astra Zeneca called AZD1775 which inhibits a protein called WEE1.

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