the compound Patrick McGowan and Olivia
metal used to coat aircraft and turn paper
and paint white could provide a lifeline for
thousands of women with untreatable ovarian
A new titanium-based compound, invented by
Dr Patrick McGowan, killed many types of cancer
cells including ovarian cancer cells
in in vitro trials.
Ovarian cancer is the hardest to treat, with
over half innately resistant to current platinum-based
drugs, and over three-quarters developing
resistance during treatment. Dr McGowans
new compound, however, appears to be effective
even against resistant cells.
Dr McGowan has overcome the main barrier to
using the metal in a drug, by inventing a
compound which is both soluble and stable
in water, and therefore in the bloodstream.
Titanium has the added advantage of being
considerably cheaper than platinum.
Dr McGowan said: This is just the first
stage, but the results so far are very promising.
The University has filed patents for the compound,
and further trials are already under way to
find out exactly how the compound works. Once
we know that, we can continue to improve on
it, though were still perhaps ten years
away from a new treatment.
Ovarian cancer is the fourth most common cancer
among women in the UK, with nearly 7,000 new
cases each year. The research, carried out
by Dr McGowan and PhD student Olivia Allen,
is funded through the University, with support
from Enact Pharma plc and Cancer Research
the story on BBCi