Dr Andrew Davies
There are many different types of leukaemias and lymphomas based largely on the type of cell that the cancer originated from. At the University of Southampton, Dr Andrew Davies is working on blood cancers that began as faulty B cells – immune cells that help fight infection.
Dr Davies is running a number of early phase clinical trials looking at experimental treatments for people with these types of cancer. The drugs Dr Davies is testing target different molecules to the standard treatment given to patients with these cancers, so Dr Davies hopes that these promising therapies can help patients who don't respond to the current treatments or have become resistant to them.
Because these are phase I clinical trials, they involve a small number of patients to make sure that the drugs are safe and discover the best dose to give people. If successful, these studies will be followed up with further, late phase clinical trials to see if these treatments can help improve survival, potentially leading to new and effective therapies in the clinic.
Dr Davies is also running a clinical trial that is looking at whether radiotherapy can safely be left out for patients with a type of lymphoma. Radiotherapy is given to people with this type of lymphoma after chemotherapy, but it's unclear whether it helps stop their cancer coming back. If Dr Davies' trial shows that radiotherapy doesn't benefit patients, it could mean patients could safely avoid it and spare them from potential side effects.