50% of all cancer patients are treated with radiotherapy and yet this method of treatment is only effective in curing a fraction of these patients. One of the contributory factors to tumour resistance to radiotherapy is the presence of cells in the tumour that are starved of oxygen. These so-called hypoxic cells are not only resistant to radiotherapy but also chemotherapy. Tumours with a large number of hypoxic cells are often more malignant and have a greater tendency to metastasise. Thus, the presence of hypoxic cells in tumours is a major problem for therapy. Ian's group has for the last 30 years carried out research with the overall aim of overcoming this hypoxia problem.
The overall expertise of the group is:
- Tumour hypoxia and manipulation of tumour oxygenation for therapeutic benefit
- Tumour biology, tumour physiology, anti-angiogenesis and vascular targeting
- Radiobiology (pre-clinical radiotherapy)
- Anti-cancer drug discovery, synthesis and evaluation
- Enzyme-directed drug activation for specific tumour therapy
Current projects include:
- Exploring the biological function of the redox regulator NQO2
- Evaluating the impact of modulating the expression of the monocarboxylate transporters MCT1 and MCT4 on tumour cell growth and response to therapy.
- Determining the effect of statins on cancer development and response to chemo - and radiotherapy
- Using molecularly targeted drugs to improve the outcome of radiotherapy
Funding for work in the Stratford lab currently comes from CR-UK, NIHR and the Pharmaceutical Industry.