Improving the distribution of internal radiotherapy in tumours

BTG Biocompatibless
University of Oxford

Jonathan is researching a new radiotherapy technique that could radically alter the way we treat some types of cancer. The new technique could make treatment more effective, while allowing the therapy to be monitored in real-time. Currently, microscopic radioactive spheres, called microspheres, are pumped into the tumour via the blood vessels that feed it, in a minimally-invasive treatment called Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT). However, SIRT’s usefulness is limited by the fact that the microspheres need to be distributed within the tumour via the blood vessels, limiting its use to certain types of vascular tumours.

Jonathan will be investigating the use of a newly developed technique to move the microspheres around within the tumour, independently of the blood supply, allowing the benefits of SIRT to be applied to tumours without a strong blood supply. It is well-known that the environment within many tumours provides very little oxygen. This low oxygen environment can prevent cancer cells from responding to radiation. Jonathan will therefore also be exploring whether methods of delivering more oxygen into the tumour can further improve the effectiveness of the SIRT treatment.

Finally, Jonathan will explore the efficacy of the new techniques in some currently poorly treated conditions such as pancreatic cancer.

Jonathan is a R&D Scientist at Biocompatibles UK ltd (a BTG International group company), a specialist healthcare company with a focus on minimally-invasive image-guided therapies. He is combining his work at Biocompatibles UK Ltd) with his PhD studies at the University of Oxford.

Jonathan graduated with a MChem in Medicinal Chemistry in 2014 and then joined Biocompatibles UK Ltd where he has developed a passion for innovative design and synthesis as part of the new product development team in the Innovation Group.

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"Jonathan is researching a new radiotherapy technique that could radically alter the way we treat some types of cancer"