Grants awarded

Shedding light on platinum chemotherapy: a new mechanistic approach

Grantholder:

Cinzia Imberti

University of Warwick

United Kingdom

Platinum-based drugs are the workhorses of cancer chemotherapy. Nevertheless, their mode of action is not fully understood, they have severe side-effects, and a significant number of patients do not respond to treatment. New platinum drugs that can be ‘switched on’ by light irradiation at a tumour site, represent a promising alternative to traditional platinum drugs.

I will investigate the ways in which clinically-established and novel platinum drugs exert their anti-cancer activity, combining radionuclide imaging in animal models with genetic testing to identify their cellular/molecular targets. I will use these findings to develop complexes that can be photoactivated and have reduced side-effects and enhanced efficacy upon irradiation by attaching to antibodies targeting cancer cells and chromophores, respectively.

This project will enhance our understanding of the mode of action of platinum drugs and contribute to the development of safer chemotherapeutic treatments with a better patient-therapy match.