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Research Funding Awards (October 2022)

The group are pleased to announce that we have been awarded a 3 year Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst grant of £1.3million, in collaboration with Vesynta, for a project entitled ‘Dosologic: a precision dosing software optimising chemotherapy for children’. This will allow us to further develop our recent exciting and productive collaboration with the team at Vesynta based down in London. In addition, the group have received a 2 year grant for £27,750 from the JGW Patterson Foundation for a project entitled ‘Identification of pharmacological, genetic and biological factors that correlate with cisplatin toxicity in a childhood cancer setting’. 

Prestigious Award for Team Member (August 2022)

It is a pleasure to announce that group member Dr Shelby Barnett has been announced as the winner of the prestigious British Pharmacology Society Bill Bowman prize for 2022. This biennial prize is awarded to support the professional development of a promising early career scientist in the field of pharmacology. She will receive an award of £500, a lecture at a Society meeting, and up to £5,000 in travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses to support a 3-week research visit to Australasia later this year.

Research Nurse Training Event (July 2022)

The group held an enjoyable and well attended research nurse training day on 7/8th July. The event was attended by 27 nurses from 15 national centres and covered areas including biobanking, early phase clinical trials, pharmacology and Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) approaches to patient treatment, in addition to an evening social in Newcastle city centre. The group would like to thank the ECMC, the CCLG and Vesynta for generously sponsoring the event.

Group Announced as Winners of National Award (April 2022)

The group were delighted to be announced as winners of the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) 2022 ‘Innovation in Practice Award’ at the organisation’s gala dinner in Nottingham earlier this month. This was awarded for the group’s work in establishing a national Therapeutic Drug Monitoring programme of work which is now used by hospitals across the UK to support the dosing of some of the most challenging childhood cancer patients, including neonates and infants.

New Publications from the Group (March 2022)

This month’s European Journal of Cancer contains back-to-back publications from the group, alongside an editorial highlighting the work, focusing on the importance of precision dosing in childhood cancer patients. The first manuscript is an original report focusing on vincristine dosing in neonate and infant patients, which provides dosing guidance for this challenging patient population. The second manuscript is a review paper, which provides evidence-based dosing guidance for a wide range of cytotoxic drugs based on a knowledge of clinical pharmacology in neonate and infant patients. Both manuscripts can be found in the March issue of the European Journal of Cancer.  

Group Nomination for CCLG Award (February 2022)

The group have been shortlisted by the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) for the 2022 ‘Innovation in Practice Award’ for the establishment of a national Therapeutic Drug monitoring programme of work. This award is designed to recognise teams finding new ways to solve problems to deliver for the public, showing commitment to new ideas and experimentation, and transforming care in the area of childhood cancer. The award winners will be announced at a CCLG Awards Evening on Monday 4th April. 

New Manuscript in Frontiers in Oncology (December 2021)

A manuscript focusing on the development of the group's therapeutic drug monitoring national programme of work has been accepted for publication in the journal Frontiers in Oncology. The article presents an overview of this novel approach to treatment for particularly challenging childhood cancer patients from the perspectives of clinicians, scientists and pharmacists involved in its implementation. The manuscript is available as an open access article through the journal website.

European Journal of Cancer Publication (October 2021)

A research article entitled 'Vincristine dosing, drug exposure and therapeutic drug monitoring in neonate and infant cancer patients' is now available as an article in press in the European Journal of Cancer. The manuscript highlights current issues with dosing neonate and infant patients with the widely used anticancer drug vincristine and supports the use of therapeutic drug monitoring to avoid potentially suboptimal drug exposures in this challenging patient population. Vincristine dosing guidance is provided for the future treatment of neonate and infant patients.  

CCLG Little Princess Trust Project Grant Award (August 2021)

The group have been successful with an application for a 2 year grant for £175k from the CCLG Little Princess Trust for a project entitled 'Optimisation of the Treatment of Childhood Cancer Patient Populations through the use of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring'. This funding will allow continuation of an exciting programme of work which is positively impacting on the treatment of some of the most challenging childhood cancer patient groups. 

Bone Cancer Research Trusting Funding Award (July 2021)

We are delighted to announce that the group have been successful in applying for a Bone Cancer Research Trust (BCRT) research project grant. The funding of £150k is for a 2 year project entitled 'Optimising the Treatment of Teenagers and Young Adults with Ewing Sarcoma through an Increased Understanding of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicity Biomarkers' and more information can be found on the BCRT website.  

New Drug Formulation Study Published (May 2021)

This month has seen the publication of a manuscript from the group, reporting on the safety and clinical pharmacology of a novel oral liquid formulation of 13-cis retinoic acid in children with neuroblastoma. The study published in the journal Cancers, showed that the liquid formulation demonstrated superior bioavailability, increasing the likelihood of achieving therapeutic levels, and that safety and palatability also compared favourably to the capsule formulation. This new formulation is now available from Nova Laboratories and offers a clear positive impact for the treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma patients.

New Publications in 2021 (April 2021)

The first quarter of 2021 has seen a number of manuscripts accepted for publication from the pharmacology group. A manuscript reporting on the development of a novel assay now being used in a Phase I clinical trial for the Bicycle Drug Conjugate BT1718, has been published in the journal Bioanalysis. Two important papers have also been published in the childhood cancer space, with a study investigating the pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics of cyclophosphamide in neonates and infants being published in Pharmaceuticals, along with a manuscript published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology reporting on a decade of experience with therapeutic drug monitoring for the anticancer drug carboplatin. Finally, a collaborative study with the University of Perugia was published this month in the journal Leukemia. Further details of these new papers can be found in the ‘Our Outputs’ section of the website.

NIHR i4i Product Development Award (Feb 2021)

The project is titled, 'In-vitro diagnostic device development and validation, enabling point-of-care therapeutic drug monitoring for dose optimisation of anthracycline chemotherapy in a paediatric cancer setting'.

The £977,609 grant, in collaboration with colleagues at UCL, will be used to develop a novel device to measure drug levels in patients in order to control drug exposure. The aim is to avoid unnecessary side-effects for a group of drugs widely used in childhood cancer treatment.

Innovate UK Award (Jan 2021)

Phil Berry was awarded £75k from Innovate UK in September 2020, for a 3 year project entitled: Establishing a translational leader in precision medicine through knowledge transfer to develop point-of-care drug monitoring technologies.

Cancer Research UK Funding Award (2020)

The first platform study investigating the safety of DNA Damage response inhibitors in combination with curative intent doses of radiotherapy in stage II and III lung Cancer CONCORDE was funded by Cancer Research UK and will shortly announce its 1st pharmaceutical partner. It is led by Dr Alastair Greystoke and key biomarkers of cardiac toxicity will be analysed within the group.