Continuing our ‘Expert Opinion’ series, we interview Professor Herbie Newell, to discover his vision of the future for cancer treatment.
Professor Newell is based at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research and has over 30 years’ experience of developing cancer drugs.
As with our previous interviews with Professor Peter Johnson, Dr Nicola McCarthy and Professor Nic Jones, the theme of stratified medicine – using genetic testing to improve treatment for people with cancer – comes through strongly.
Cancer Research UK: For you, what were the hot topics in cancer research last year?
Herbie Newell: I think it’s a reflection of how exciting everything is at the moment that to do that question justice would take a huge amount of time – because there are so many hot topics.
My personal area of research is the discovery of new cancer medicines. And the hot topic there is the concept of ‘stratified medicine’, whereby you combine a targeted therapy with a ‘predictive biomarker’ to select the right patients to treat – and when you do that, you get extremely encouraging results.