Reducing the side effects of chemotherapy

Dr George Williams
Location: University of Southampton
Date: December 2022
Project status: Ongoing

The challenge 

Patients with pancreatic cancer tumours that are considered to be borderline eligible for surgery may be offered chemotherapy with the aim of shrinking their tumour so that surgery is possible. However, chemotherapy is highly toxic and causes significant side effects, which leaves many patients too unwell to be able to cope with a major operation.  

The project 

This project aims to develop a new way to deliver chemotherapy directly to the tumour using a gel. Dr Williams will develop a gel that is able to deliver an inactive version of the drug to the tumour. Once it has reached the tumour, chemicals specifically found in the cancer cells will activate the drug. This method means that there is less damage to non-cancerous cells, leading to reduced side effects and leaving patients better able to receive surgery following their treatment.  

The hope 

Delivering localised chemotherapy to pancreatic cancer cells could significantly reduce side-effects of treatment, allowing patients to have a better quality of life and making them more likely to stay well enough to be able to have surgery, saving lives.  

Meet the researcher

Dr George Williams