Universities are at the forefront of solving global problems, andresearch into cancer couldn't be more crucial.
In 2000, Brunel opened its Institute for Cancer Geneticsand Pharmacogenomics (BICGP), with the primary aim ofidentifying new cancer-causing genes to develop treatments. Since 2002, BICGP has received more than £5 million in grantsfor its activities from bodies such as Cancer Research UK, the European Commission, the Medical Research Council and the Department of Health. All have played a significant role intrying to eradicate the disease.
New genes discovered
Professor Newbold from Brunel's Biosciences department located four new skin and breast cancer-causing genes. Workingwith the latest technologies and global drug companies such as XENOVA PLC, the critical genes are isolated to research their presence in at least six major human cancers, enabling the development of cancer fighting drugs and further understanding of the causes of prostate cancer.
Cervical cancer screening
Brunel's Dr Sonia Jones collaborated with the US National Foundation for Cancer Research in 1993 to develop a new test for early detection of cervical cancer, improving the implementation of the papanicolaou, or PAP, test.
Starving cells of protein
Dr Concetta Bubici from the Department of Biosciences identified a protein which, if switched off, could stop the disease in its tracks. PARP 14 is a protein that is over-producedin cancer cells, causing uncontrolled growth. Finding a way to stop the burst of PARP 14 could one day result in a cure for cancer.
Simple test predicts childhood cancer relapse
Researchers at Brunel University London and colleagues at University College London have pinpointed a protein marker, which when absent, shows childhood when cancer neuroblastoma is almost certain to recur. This means children with low-risk neuroblastoma, who are currently left untreated, could be reclassified as being at high risk of relapse and have chemotherapy earlier.