Congratulations to Dr Guy Simpson from our University of Surrey labs, who has been awarded a Medical Research Council (MRC) Impact Acceleration grant for his project entitled ‘Novel viral Immunotherapy for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer in BCG non-responding patients’.
Although widely known as a vaccine for tuberculosis, the BCG vaccine has also been used as an immunotherapeutic drug in the treatment of bladder cancer since the early 1970s. The treatment consists of delivering it directing into the bladder, which stimulates an immune response helping to delay or stop the progress of bladder cancer entering the deeper layers of the bladder. The treatment does however, come with a range of side effects, and has a high 30-40% failure rate in patients. So there is an urgent need to understand and improve this therapy
Guy’s project will develop an alternative treatment to current BCG therapy and involves using an oncolytic (‘cancer killing’) virus to deliver a fragment of a bacterial protein to the bladder in order to instigate an immune reaction to eradicate the bladder tumour. This exciting research could revolutionise the treatment of bladder cancer and results to date are extremely promising