News story posted 23 January 2024
Dr Natalie Cook, one of our consultants and a senior clinical lecturer at The University of Manchester, has been awarded a 5-year National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Rosetrees Trust Advanced Fellowship. The £730,000 award will fund an ambitious and exciting programme of research into cancer of unknown primary (CUP).
Patients diagnosed with CUP have cancer that has spread to other sites of the body at diagnosis, but standard investigations fail to identify where the cancer started. CUP is difficult to treat because without knowing where the cancer started doctors can only try radiotherapy or a combination of chemotherapy drugs to treat the cancer.
Comprehensive genomic testing can help to identify gene alterations in CUP, “matching” patients to targeted therapy or immunotherapy treatment options. In some cases the genetic testing can even help identify the location of the primary cancer. The fellowship will allow Dr Cook to trial blood-based genomic testing in patients diagnosed with CUP in the North West with the hope of providing equity of testing and trial opportunities.
“Rosetrees is delighted to partner with the NIHR for Dr. Cook's Advanced Clinical Fellowship,” comments Vineeth Rajkumar, Head of Research at Rosetrees Trust. “The impact of CUP, a potentially devastating disease affecting numerous individuals in the UK, could be significantly addressed through Dr. Cook's project, which holds the promise of developing a novel diagnostic test.”