The Hammersmith Hospital

Research at Hammersmith Hospital



Scientists at the Hammersmith Hospital are working on many aspects of cancer, from basic biology through to clinical trials to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. Here are a few examples of the pioneering work this event helps to fund;

The problem of drug resistance



Professor Robert Brown is investigating how some cancers, become resistant to chemotherapy and how this problem can be overcome.
His research focuses on DNA methylation, a process whereby certain genes in cells are switched on or off. Faulty DNA methylation can lead to certain important genes in cancer cells being switched off and make them resistant to certain chemotherapy drugs.
By understanding more about how cancer cells become resistant to chemotherapy drugs, Professor Brown and his team aim to design strategies to overcome resistance and help people with cancer live longer, healthier lives.
View this research's funding page on Cancer Research UK's website.


Killing myeloma cells with toxic waste



Dr Holger Auner is finding new ways to treat multiple myeloma, a cancer affecting special immune cells in the bone marrow known as plasma cells.
His research is focusing on a process called the protein degradation pathway that acts like a waste disposal system, helping myeloma cells get rid of unwanted or faulty molecules. Blocking this process in myeloma cells grown in the lab causes a toxic build-up of molecules that cells simply can’t cope with, leading to the cancer cells dying. Dr Auner wants to reproduce this effect in patients, so he’s analysing different parts of the protein degradation pathway to find targets that can be switched off by drugs.
Myeloma can be a real challenge to treat, so research like this is urgently needed to help keep myeloma patients with their families for longer.
Picture this: images of cancer
Professor Eric Aboagye is Director of the Imperial College London Comprehensive Cancer Imaging Centre, which has been set up with support from Cancer Research UK and other funding organisations. He is using sophisticated imaging techniques to tackle cancer.
Imaging helps scientists and doctors to visualise tumours, so that they can detect cancer, track how the disease is progressing, and understand how it is responding to treatment. Professor Aboagye’s work spans all these areas.
One key focus for the team is investigating why some cancers become resistant to treatment – meaning they are less likely to respond to drugs. Professor Aboagye is finding ways to visualise how drugs are taken into tumours – this will shed more light on the mechanisms behind drug resistance.
Professor Aboagye and his team are also finding better ways to use PET, MRI and ultrasound scans to monitor tumours and track how well treatments are working. View this research's funding page on Cancer Research UK's website


Finding new treatments for breast cancer



Professor Charles Coombes is director of the Department of Oncology and heads the Section of Cancer Cell Biology at Hammersmith Hospital. He is an outstanding scientist and Cancer Research UK has been funding his work for over twenty years. He and his team are leading the world with their research into new treatments for breast cancer.
Professor Coombes and his team are studying exactly how breast cancer cells respond to chemotherapy drugs by investigating key molecules in the cells. He is also developing and testing new breast cancer drugs in early stage clinical trials, as well as developing ways to monitor and treat breast cancers as they spread.


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