The last worldwide research update of 2023!

3 min read

This is the last Worldwide Research News update of 2023.  I hope you have enjoyed the blogs this year. They shall be returning early in January.  

Have a lovely Christmas break! 


Focused Ultrasound Combination Therapy for DIPG Earns FDA’s Fast Track Designation. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track Designation for the development of an aminolevulinic acid HCl (ALA) formulation, called SONALA-001, in combination with a focused ultrasound device for the treatment of patients with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).  This combination approach to cancer treatment is called sonodynamic therapy (SDT).   

What is the Fast Track Designation?  The FDA’s Fast Track is a process designed to facilitate the development, and expedited review, of drugs to treat serious conditions and fill an unmet medical need. The goal is to make new therapies available to patients as quickly as possible. 


New 3D co-cultured model to study effect of proton therapy on aggressive brain cancer.  Researchers have designed novel 3D-engineered scaffolds inspired by the geometry of the brain microvasculature. The micro-structures were co-cultured with both glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, and endothelial cells, the building blocks of blood vessels. Published in Advanced Healthcare Materials, the model enabled researchers to study the effect of proton therapy on glioblastoma and uncover a possible protective role of endothelial cells on cancer cells. 

Synergistic effect of cryptotanshinone and temozolomide treatment against human glioblastoma cells. In this study, researchers evaluated the combined effect and therapeutic efficacy of temozolomide (TMZ), a potent alkylating agent and the current gold standard therapy for GBM, and cryptotanshinone (CTS), which inhibits glioma cell proliferation in GBM cells. We found that the anti-proliferative effects of combination therapy using the two drugs were greater than that of each agent used alone (CTS or TMZ).  Combined treatment with CTS and TMZ might be an effective option to overcome the chemoresistance of GBM cells in a long-term treatment strategy. 


Major recruitment campaign to attract senior cancer researchers to Sheffield - Deadline 18 January 2024  

Thanks to the pioneering work which discovered the role of Lynparza (olaparib) for tumours with imperfect DNA report, the university has been able to release funding to appoint senior academics to Sheffield, in partnership with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, to expand their capability and capacity in cancer research.   

They can accommodate a wide range of interests due to their large patient population and are particularly interested in those with expertise in the following areas:  

  • Neuro-oncology – either a medical, radiation or surgical oncologist 
  • Surgical oncology – either a thoracic, gastrointestinal or genitourinary (inc. urological) surgeon 
  • Academic oncology – with expertise in either medical or radiation oncology for common cancers 
  • GP with special interest in oncology – particularly around lung, urology, GI tract  
  • Epidemiology with a cancer focus 
  • Cancer research trials – with either early or late phase expertise in cancer research 

They are focusing on a clinical and translational approach to healthcare research that is directly relevant to the cancers that most affect their population.  Appointees will be supported with a package to build their research team at Sheffield. 

 Adverts are now live in Nature and the BMJ: 


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