Scientists are set to develop a world first treatment aimed at limiting cancer cells ability to grow and become drug-resistant.
According to researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, with an investment of £75m, the revolutionary ‘‘Darwinian’ drugs may be the future of cancer treatment in the next decade.
Paul Workman, chief executive of the institute, who spoke with BBC, expressed strong optimism in the research, adding that it will increase the lifespan of cancer patients.
“I have an expectation, almost a believe if you will, that if we apply this evolutionary principle, we would absolutely extend long term survival so the patient if you like live with their cancer,” Workman said.
“Remember, we already doubled the survival of most cancer patients. More than 50 per cent leave 10 years, We want to push that out to 75, 80, 90 per cent, and eventually, if we can, have all patients responding in that way.”
Previous research confirmed that popular cancer treatments such as chemotherapy may do little to increase patients survival chance as cancer cells may adapt to treatment, thereby leading to patient relapse.
Andrea Sottoriva, deputy director of the study told BBC that the institute employed artificial intelligence and mathematical predictive methods to determine how cancer cells respond to treatment.
“Artificial intelligence and mathematical predictive methods have huge potential to get inside cancer’s head and predict what it is going to do next and how it will respond to new treatments,” Sottoriva said.
The centre is currently developing new drugs designed to tackle a protein molecule called ‘Apobec’ which is part of the immune system that fuels more than half of cancer types in speeding up their drug resistance ability.