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The world’s first ‘Darwinian’ cancer drug programme was launched by the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), and aims to deliver a step change in cancer treatment. The programme will be run from the ICR’s £75 million state-of-the-art Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery in London.
The new cancer drug programme will harness evolutionary science to tackle cancer’s ability to develop resistance to treatment using anti-evolution drugs and combinations of treatments. The programme will use artificial intelligence and advanced maths to ‘herd’ cancer for treatment.
More cancer patients are living longer and with fewer side effects, but “unfortunately, we’re also seeing that cancer can become resistant very quickly to new drugs – and this is the greatest challenge we face”, says Dr Olivia Rossanese, the newly appointed head of biology in the Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery.
She continued, “Within the Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery, we plan to deliver a drug discovery programme that is wholly focused on meeting the challenge of cancer evolution and drug resistance through completely new ways of attacking the disease.
“This ‘Darwinian’ approach to drug discovery gives us the best chance yet of defeating cancer, because we will be able to predict what cancer is going to do next and get one step ahead.”