Targeting the blood supply in tumours
Professor Gillian Tozer runs the Tumour Microcirculation Group at the University of Sheffield. She and her team are investigating the way that blood vessels grow within a tumour - a process known as angiogenesis. They are seeking new ways of blocking this process in order to develop better treatments for cancer.
All parts of our bodies need a blood supply to provide oxygen and nutrients, including cancer cells. But the blood vessels that grow into tumours are different from those found in healthy tissue, and are relatively disorganised. Scientists believe that targeting tumour blood vessels could be a good way to treat cancer.
Professor Tozer and her team are looking at how blood vessels grow and mature within tumours. Using blood vessel cells grown in the lab and tissue from tumours, they are investigating the proteins that control these processes and how they affect patients' responses to treatment. They hope to discover targets for new cancer drugs and find ways of combining new treatments with conventional ones, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Working in collaboration with physicists and engineers, Professor Tozer is also developing ways to study tumours within the body, using imaging techniques such as MRI scanning. This enables her to monitor how well new anti-cancer drugs are working, and investigate their effects on a tumour's blood supply.
By studying the 'biological plumbing' in cancers, Professor Tozer hopes to find more effective ways to tackle this disease, which could lead to exciting new treatments in the future.
Other research projects by Gillian Tozer
Funding period: 01 October 2008 to 30 September 2013
Magnetic resonance and matrix assisted laser desorption mass spectrometry imaging for progressing the development of tumour vascular targeted drugs
Funding period: 01 December 2008 to 30 November 2013
Microflow of fluorescently labelled red blood cells in tumours expressing single isoforms of VEGF and their response to vascular targeting agents
Med Eng Phys.2010;:
Selective destruction of the tumour vasculature by targeting the endothelial cytoskeleton
Drug Discov Today Ther Strateg.2007;4 :237-243