Citylabs Lounge: A new personalised approach to Cancer treatment

  • 06 July 2016
  • 08.00am-10.00am
  • Citylabs


A new personalised approach to Cancer treatment

Wednesday 6th July


Citylabs Lounge is a monthly networking event for clinicians, academics and healthcare businesses located in the heart of Manchester’s Innovation District.  These events give a valuable opportunity for people working in the healthcare and life science sector to engage with prospective clients and customers, as well as discuss some of the most topical issues of the day.

At this month’s seminar, on Wednesday 6th July, Imagen Therapeutics will share details of their innovative work on the personalisation of chemotherapy treatments. Over the last 20 years, chemotherapy has rapidly progressed with the appearance of many new drugs to treat cancer. This means there is potentially at least 50 to 100 different therapies that could be considered to treat any particular cancer in an individual patient. In reality, an oncologist will select from a small pool of this total, based on whether the therapy is licensed for use in the cancer undergoing treatment. Even within this more limited drug set, the oncologist has no easy way of knowing beforehand whether the cancer will respond to the particular therapy that is selected for the patient.

Imagen Therapeutics are applying the technology of High Content Screening to create tests which measure cellular behaviour directly. This enables the study of cell death behaviour with routine screening of up to 56 different chemotherapies (or chemotherapy combinations) at different doses on primary patient cancer tissue. Dr Benson’s presentation will explain how this groundbreaking approach is a vast improvement from earlier attempts as it also considers the theoretical strengths and weaknesses of personalized medicine.

''The main innovation of our work is applying a methodology that is commonly used in early drug discovery to the personalization of chemotherapy. One thing that is for certain is the approach goes against the current thinking on how one should personalize chemotherapy. In commercial speak this is often referred to as a disruptive technology.'' - Dr Rod Benson, Imagen Therapeutics


08:00-08:30    Arrival, registration and breakfast

08.30-09.10    Talk by Rod Benson, Chief Operating Manager,  Imagen Therapeutics

09:10- 09:30   Q&A

09:30-10:00    Coffee and Networking

[Full breakfast will be provided.]

About the speaker:

Dr Benson completed his PhD at the University of Manchester, examining several cytological conditions that occur when cells commit to apoptosis. In 2001, he obtained an 18 month Wellcome Showcase award for Innovative research where he explored the use of intrabodies tagged to fluorescent proteins to create an in-cyto immunoassay. The idea went by the acronym LADDERS (Live Antigen Detection Dual Epitope Reporter System). In 2003, he started working for AstraZeneca where he was employed in the Systems Biology group. He left AZ in October 2007 to set up Imagen Biotech with his colleague Gareth Griffiths to set up a first class High Content screening service. Since 2013 Rod has been working on implementing the workflow for the application of High Content Screening to the personalization of chemotherapy. In particular, Rod has continued to develop the IT infrastructure to support this endeavour, including the automation of the dosing and staining and data analysis protocols which are used to deliver the final data package.