C-TRIC: Derry’s role in ‘cutting edge’ cancer research

C-TRIC building at Altnagelvin. (Photo: Nigel McDowell/Ulster University)
C-TRIC building at Altnagelvin. (Photo: Nigel McDowell/Ulster University)

A clinical research hub in Derry is playing a pivotal role in identifying the best possible treatment for people diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The study, led by US-based company, Lantern Pharma, encompasses clinicians and academics at C-TRIC, the cutting edge research and innovation centre located at Altnagelvin Hospital which acts as a state-of-the-art “bridge” between frontline medicine and cutting-edge science.

The clinical study, known as PRAISE, is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to test a cancer drug called LP-184 to predict which types of tumours are most sensitive to it.

The use of AI includes data from each of the tumour tests being conducted through drug sensitivity testing with millions of data points helping to advance the precision development of the drug and the ‘stratification’ of patients most likely to respond to the therapy.

At present, some patients in the Western Trust are taking part in this highly innovative study that will, eventually, bring precision to how prostate cancer is treated rather than a “one size fits all approach”.

It’s understood the approach taken by Lantern Pharma in the PRAISE study also aims to reducing the overall costs of drug development by decreasing time schedules and by integrating processes such as AI into clinical studies.

C-TRIC says it hopes to expand its portfolio with Lantern Pharma for other types of cancer, allowing oncologists to treat patients with more precision, leading to greatly improved patient outcomes with reduced financial costs.