Radforsk, the Radium Hospital Research Foundation, is awarding several NOK 4.5 million to new research that fights cancer with light, reports Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen, Oslo Cancer Cluster.
Radforsk is an evergreen investor focusing on companies that develop cancer treatment. Since its inception in 1986, Radforsk has allocated NOK 200 million of its profit back into cancer research at Oslo University Hospital. This year, four researchers will be awarded a total of NOK 4.5 million.
One of the researchers is Anette Weyergang, who will receive NOK 3.75 million over a three-year period.
Weyergang is a project group manager and senior researcher in a research group led by Kristian Berg. The group conducts research in the field of photodynamic therapy (PDT) and photochemical internalisation (PCI). Radforsk’s portfolio company and Oslo Cancer Cluster member PCI Biotech is based on this group’s research.
First researcher ever to receive several million kroner over the course of several years
She is the first researcher ever to receive several million kroner over the course of several years from Radforsk.
“We have donated a total of NOK 200 million to cancer research at Oslo University Hospital, of which NOK 25 million have gone to research in PDT/PCI. We have previously awarded smaller amounts to several researchers, but we now want to use some of our funds to focus on projects we believe in,” says Jónas Einarsson, CEO of Radforsk.
Make targeted cancer treatment even more precise
Weyergang will use the funds from Radforsk to research whether PCI technology can be used to make targeted cancer treatment even more precise.
“The project aims to find a method for delivering antibodies to cancer cells using PCI technology. This has never been done before, and if we succeed, it can open up brand new possibilities for using this technology,” says Weyergang.
Initially, she will focus on glioblastoma, which is the most serious form of brain cancer. Glioblastoma is resistant to both chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and has a very high mortality rate.
“This is translational research, so human trials are still a long way off. We will now use both glioblastoma cell lines and animal experimentation to test our hypothesis. We do this to establish what is called a “proof of concept”, which we need to move on to clinical testing,” says Weyergang.
Source: Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen, Oslo Cancer Cluster.
Left photo: Anette Weyergang: Oslo University Hospital
Right photo: The new research focuses on how to use light to release the cancer drugs more efficiently inside the cancer cells.: Oslo Cancer Cluster