Validation of new drugs to slow growth of cancer cells

James Grey is our very first Travelling Prize Fellowship awardee, and has been supported to continue his promising research into the development of potential new treatments for prostate cancer. We previously funded James to carry out a PhD in which he successfully identified new drivers of prostate cancer that can be stopped with drugs that have already been developed. From his PhD, James has shown that these drugs can successfully prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells in the laboratory. The next step is for these drugs to be more rigorously tested to confirm James’ findings, before they can then be trialled in men.

James will travel to the Erasmus MC Cancer Institute in Rotterdam, a centre renowned for developing new therapies for prostate cancer, where he will learn the skills and techniques needed to perform experiments using models that more accurately mimic advanced prostate cancer tumours in men.

This placement will give me the expertise I need to further test these drugs, and I will bring these disease modelling techniques back to Newcastle University, to complement the expertise of my peers in target identification and validation, thereby driving forward research into new prostate cancer treatments.
Dr James Grey

James will develop a detailed insight into how well these drugs would work in men and if they are suitable to progress into clinical trials. As these drugs already exist, it may be possible to advance into clinical testing within 2-3 years of the project, bypassing the lengthy drug discovery phases. This project may also identify which men are most likely to respond to these drugs and whether they could work effectively in combination with existing treatments, particularly for men where standard treatments fail.

Grant information

Researcher – Dr James Grey
Institution – University of Newcastle
Grant award – £210,216.00
Reference – TLD-PF15-002

Hear more from James as a PhD student when he spoke to us about the importance of collaboration with other researchers (at 2 minutes):