Novel theranostic agents for enhanced diagnosis and minimally invasive therapy of cervical cancer

University of Edinburgh

Active award

Student: Samuel Benson

Year Award Started: 2016

Cervical cancer accounts for around 2% of all new cases of cancer in females, with particularly high relevance in Scotland. Current means to treat cervical cancer mainly rely on surgery. Surgical procedures are invasive and entail healthcare costs and potential risk for complications, especially in women of reproductive age. Therefore, there is a need to develop less invasive, more effective and safer therapies to reduce the number of surgical interventions in cervical cancer patients. This project aims to generate new therapies to treat cervical cancer more effectively and in a safer way.
Our approach focuses on the generation of new therapy agents with the ability to destroy cancer cells specifically upon irradiation of non-damaging light to the cervical tissue. Current therapies that employ such strategy are limited by the low specificity of the agents, which involves a significant destruction of healthy tissue. Our new agents will recognise specific features that are only found in cancer cells, and will therefore remarkably reduce the destruction of healthy cells and all associated side effects. Our novel procedure will also benefit patients with less developed cervical lesions, who could be treated at an early stage, thus reducing their risk of progression to more advanced stages of cancer.

Research area: Cancer


Dr Marc Vendrell Escobar
MRC Centre for Inflammation Research
Professor Charles Herrington
Division of Pathology

EM Imaging Ltd