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Alison Banham

Researcher Alison Banham profile image

Antibodies to shut off the blood supply

University of Oxford
Oxford
OX3 9DU
United Kingdom

Web: Lab website

Professor Alison Banham and her team at the University of Oxford are producing new biological cancer drugs called antibodies that target molecules found on the surface of cancer cells.

Antibodies are made naturally by the body, where they are used to kill invading bacteria or viruses, but they can also be made by researchers in the lab to target cancer cells.

Professor Banham is focusing on making antibodies that target a tumour’s blood supply, potentially starving the cancer cells of the oxygen and nutrients that they need to survive. Once Professor Banham and her team have made and tested antibodies that hit these targets in the lab, they will select the best ones for large-scale production and testing in clinical trials.

Treatment with monoclonal antibodies – such as rituximab (Mabthera or Rituxan), used to treat leukaemia and lymphoma - has improved the outlook for many patients with different types of cancer. Professor Banham’s work holds promise for developing powerful new therapies for cancer in the future.

Therapeutic antibodies represent a rapidly expanding class of anti-cancer drugs that have revolutionised the treatment of several malignancies. Examples are the anti-CD20 antibody, rituximab, for the therapy of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Herceptin (Trastuzumab) for treating breast cancer.

Other research projects by Alison Banham

Science Committee Programme
Funding period: 01 July 2009 to 30 June 2015