Professor Fran Balkwill
Professor Fran Balkwill leads the Centre for Cancer and Inflammation at Barts Cancer Institute. She is investigating the links between cancer and inflammation, with a particular focus on ovarian cancer, and is involved in several early-phase clinical trials of new treatments.
The environment inside and around a tumour contains many cells and molecules that are involved in inflammation – a type of immune response that can help cancer cells grow and survive. Pinning down a role for each individual component is difficult, as they all work together at the same time, so Professor Balkwill is using cutting edge technology to re-create this complex tumour environment in the lab to make it easier to study.
Understanding how inflammation is linked to ovarian cancer will help Professor Balkwill turn this knowledge into new treatment approaches to test in clinical trials, to improve survival for women with ovarian cancer.
Watch Professor Balkwill talking about the promise of immunotherapy in our Google Hangout: