2 million boost for Leicester scientists to tackle hardtotreat cancers

Scientists in Leicester are set to benefit from almost £2 million to look into new ways to treat lung cancer and pancreatic cancer, two types of the disease that are among the most difficult to treat.

Professor Martin Bushell and Dr John Le Quesne at the MRC Toxicology Unit at our University are part of a team of scientists who have been awarded a prestigious Programme Award by leading charity Cancer Research UK to carry out the ground-breaking research.

The funding will allow scientists from Leicester and Glasgow to examine how a specific protein complex called eIF4F is involved in helping cells – including cancer cells – to grow, multiply and survive. As well as lung and pancreatic cancer, the study will also look at the role of eIF4F in bowel cancer.

The scientists hope that by studying eIF4F they’ll understand more about how it determines which genes – and in turn which proteins – are expressed in lung, pancreatic and bowel cancer cells and the cells surrounding them.

Professor Martin Bushell said: “The problem with cancer is that the cancer cells continuously divide in an uncontrolled manner. Our hope is that finding and developing drugs that can block eIF4F could stop cancer cells from dividing which would mean tumours couldn’t grow.”