A global specialist in paediatric care is developing new treatments for children with cancer supported by donations from alumni.
Dr Frank Mussai’s research investigates the links between childhood cancers and the immune system. It focuses on both blood cancers, such as acute myeloid leukaemia, and solid cancers like neuroblastoma (two of the most common and hardest to treat childhood cancers).
Donors in the UK and Hong Kong, including Bio-Cancer Treatment International, have given generously to support the work of Frank and his team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital pioneering safer and more effective treatments for children with cancer.
Frank, who is Clinical Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Oncology at the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy,. says: ‘We’ve discovered cancer cells require a particular nutrient, arginine, to divide and grow. By depriving cancer cells of this nutrient, through a new drug we have been developing, the cancer cells can no longer survive and they die.’
‘In the last 18 months this therapy has undergone trials in adults with cancer with some remarkable results. We’re now taking this treatment forward in two international clinical trials. These trials will provide hope for children with no other alternative options for treatment, as well as provide valuable insights into this brand new therapy. “
Watch this film to find out more about childhood cancer research at the University.