Combining Radiotherapy, Minimally Invasive Surgery and Immunotherapy to Enhance Cure Rates in Prostate Cancer

Prof Richard Bryant is an academic urology consultant with a sub-specialist interest in prostate cancer, and a Cancer Research UK funded clinician scientist in the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences. His collaborative research group is embedded in the Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology within the Department of Oncology. He undertook parallel training in urological surgery and laboratory basic science in both Sheffield and Oxford, and has a background training in prostate cancer epigenetics, basic science and translational research. Richard was lead clinician for the Oxford-led VANCE anti-prostate cancer vaccine early phase clinical trial. His research focusses on improving prostate cancer patient outcomes by enhancing cure rates and reducing side-effects.

Richard’s current research aims to address an important unmet clinical need in prostate cancer radiotherapy treatment using pre-clinical models. Whilst radiotherapy with concomitant androgen deprivation therapy is a standard of care for men with prostate cancer, unfortunately not all patients are cured using this approach, and many long term survivors of radiotherapy have a reduced quality of life due to treatment-related sexual, urinary and bowel side effects. The team around Richard is investigating potential synergy in approaches combining radiotherapy with minimally invasive surgery, focal therapy techniques, and immune checkpoint inhibitors. If synergy is observed in these combined treatment models, this would lead to first-in-man early phase clinical trials, with the possibility of improving patient outcomes. Improvement could be achieved through combined use of focal therapy and lower doses of radiotherapy, to avoid either major surgery (which removes the whole prostate gland) or the use of higher dose radiotherapy (which can damage adjacent organs).

Witin Oxford Richard collaborates with the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (including Prof Freddie Hamdy, Prof Ian Mills, Prof Clare Verrill), the Department of Oncology (including Prof Valentine Macualay, Prof Ruth Muschel, Prof Boris Vojnivic), the Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology (including Prof Geoff Higgins, Sean Smart), and the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (including Prof Vincenzo Cerundolo).

A further collaborators is Prof Avigdor Scherz at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.

Richards research is funded by CRUK, The Urology Foundation, and UCARE.