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Rosemere helps to fund study into immunotherapy treatment for kidney cancer

Rosemere are delighted to be funding imaging scans for some local kidney cancer patients, to help consultants determine which patients will benefit from a new immunotherapy drug.

Dr Natalie Charnley We awarded £33,254.25 to consultant oncologist Dr Natalie Charnley, who is based here at Rosemere Cancer Centre at the Royal Preston Hospital - Lancashire and South Cumbria’s specialist regional cancer treatment and radiotherapy centre.

Dr Charnley is leading on a study that is investigating patient response to nivolumab, an immunotherapy medicine. It works by blocking a protein that slows down the immune system and stops it from attacking cancer cells.

In activating the immune system, nivolumab can help it to find and kill cancer cells and is already being used to treat some patients with a wide range of cancers, including some with kidney (renal) cancer. Of these patients, doctors now want to know who is most likely to benefit from the treatment as while some respond very well, others do less so and for them, different treatments may be a better option, to ensure they have the mose efficient treatment plan to suit their individual needs.

To help find out, Dr Charnley and her team are using PET scans - positron emission tomography scans, an imaging test that helps reveal how the tissues and organs are functioning – to look for early signs or markers that nivolumab is producing a response and therefore likely to work well.

Patients in her trial have these PET scans, paid for by Rosemere's charitable donations, prior to taking the medicine, two weeks after taking it and again at three months. Dr Charnley said: “Using the scans, we are hoping the study will help us determine which patients are more likely to respond the best to nivolumab. We are very grateful for Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s support of our research, which we are now planning to extend by expanding it to more patients with renal cancer.”

Dan Hill, our chief officer, said: “It is very rewarding to see Dr Charnley and her team involve local patients in ground breaking global research to find new treatment options for those with kidney cancer.

“We are delighted to support her study and extremely grateful to all our fantastic supporters, who have made it possible by finding ways to continue to donate to us even in these very difficult times.”

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