News and events archive 2004 - 2013

NEWS - PRESS RELEASES

National expert to speak on cancer research

Professor Robert Souhami, Emeritus Professor of Medicine at University College, London.

National expert to speak on cancer research

First Allison Wilson Lecture from Hope Against Cancer.

Issued 6 May

The balance between large scale clinical trials and individually targeted cancer therapies will be examined by one of the UK’s most prestigious cancer research specialists at a public lecture at the University of Leicester, celebrating two anniversaries.

Professor Robert Souhami, CBE, MD, FRCP, FRCR, FMedSci, is Emeritus Professor of Medicine at University College, London and former Director of Clinical Research and Director of Policy and Communications with Cancer Research UK.

His lecture: ‘Therapeutic Research in Cancer: personalised treatment or large scale trials?’ has been arranged by the Leicestershire and Rutland charity, Hope Against Cancer, to celebrate both the charity’s 5th Anniversary and the 50th Anniversary of the University of Leicester.

This will be the inaugural Allison Wilson Lecture run by Hope. In future the Allison Wilson Lecture will be an annual event.

Professor Ian Lauder, Dean of Medicine at the University of Leicester, commented: “It is fantastic to have Professor Souhami coming to Leicester again. His input as external adviser to the 2003 reorganisation of the Medical School was pivotal in the creation of our Cancer Studies Department.

“Since then it has gone from strength to strength. The creation of this new annual lecture by Hope Against Cancer is a splendid way for us to celebrate what has been achieved at Leicester in Cancer Research and recognise Bob Souhami's role in getting the process started.

“He is a top international figure in the field and we are privileged to have him here to give the first Allison Wilson Lecture.”

Professor Souhami explained his theme: “The extraordinary advances in molecular biology now allow human tumours to be analysed for the activity of genes that might be implicated in cancer growth, thereby creating a profile, or signature, applicable to the individual cancer. These profiles will differ with each tumour type (for example breast cancer and lung cancer) and also differ to some degree from one tumour to another for any given type.

“These profiles have the potential to indicate the degree of clinical aggressiveness of the cancer in an individual case. Some of these growth-promoting genes are also targets for the development of drugs that inhibit their action. This had led to the possibility that therapy might be modified for the individual tumour according to the profile that is present.

“Furthermore, it is clear that, with some anti-cancer agents, patients may differ considerably in their handling of a drug, changing both its potency and the likelihood of side effects.

“Because cancer trials currently treat large groups of patients in the same way, with some patients benefiting and others not, the possibility of modifying therapy according to individual characteristics has immediate appeal.

“However, with few exceptions, the new drugs that are currently available have only partial effects and the relationship between the presence of the target in the tumour and clinical benefit is often not clear-cut.

“These developments mean that clinical trials will still be necessary to determine the degree of clinical benefit of a new therapy. The conduct of these trials will change in order to provide the evidence to show whether, in the future, treatment can and should be modified according to the characteristics of the tumour or the way in which the drug is handled.

“This means that such trials will sometimes need to test therapeutic hypotheses based on tumour biology and drug metabolism as well as determining the clinical outcome. In this way the evidence will be slowly accumulated that may allow increasing refinement of therapy. The lecture will explore some of the difficulties that these studies encounter.”

Professor Souhami’s clinical research interests have been in lung cancer and cancer in adolescents. He created the first unit in the UK for the specialised care of adolescents with cancer and co-founded the London Lung Cancer Group.

His unit was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 1994. He was a founding Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and received the ESMO award in 2000.

The Allison Wilson Lecture will take place in the Frank and Katherine May Lecture Theatre at the University of Leicester, at 5.30pm on Wednesday 21st May.

It is open to the public and free of charge. For seat reservations please contact the Hope Against Cancer Office, tel 0116 270 0101.

Note to Editors:

The Allison Wilson Lecture will take place in the Frank and Katherine May Lecture Theatre in the University’s Henry Wellcome Building, Lancaster Road, Leicester, at 5.30pm on Wednesday 21st May.

A more detailed biography of Professor Souhami follows. Further information is available from Mrs Wendi Stevens, Hope Against Cancer, tel 0116 270 0101, email enquiries@hfcr.org

Biography:

Professor Robert Souhami, CBE, MD, FRCP, FRCR, FMedSci, is Emeritus Professor of Medicine at University College, London.

He graduated from University College London, where, after postgraduate training, he became Physician and Senior Lecturer in Medical Oncology in 1975.

In 1987 he was appointed to the Kathleen Ferrier Chair of Cancer Medicine at University College and in 1997 he became Dean of University College and Middlesex Medical School and subsequently Principal of the newly formed Royal Free and University College Medical School.

He was then invited to be Director of Clinical Research at Cancer Research UK.

His clinical research interests have been in lung cancer and cancer in adolescents. He created the first unit in the UK for the specialised care of adolescents with cancer and co-founded the London Lung Cancer Group.

Professor Souhami was Chairman of the Cancer Therapy Committee of the Medical Research Council (MRC), Chairman of the Bone Sarcoma Working Party of the MRC and Chairman of the European Osteosarcoma Intergroup. His laboratory research has been in the field of the mode of action of drugs that bind to DNA.

His unit was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 1994. He was a founding Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and received the ESMO award in 2000.

He has recently chaired the Academy of Medical Sciences Working Party on the use of personal data in research, and the working party of the National Cancer Research Institute on the research uses of PET scanning. Professor Souhami is currently a member of scientific advisory groups for two UK and four French cancer centres

[University Home]. [eBulletin]. [University Index A-Z]. [University Search]. [University Help]
Managed by Press Office
[Copyright] and [Disclaimer]