A Guy’s and St Thomas’ doctor has been named as one of the most exciting researchers working today.
Dr Sophie Papa was named as one of the 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness 2019, a report highlighting women trailblazers and trendsetters in the UK’s bioscience industry.
Her research into cell therapy for cancer patients involves the first human trial of a cell therapy called CAR-T therapy to help head and neck cancer patients.
Although cell therapy has been used successfully in cancers that affect the blood, like lymphoma, they are yet to be proven in treating cancers with a solid tumour.
Cell therapy uses live immune cells, usually the patient’s own, to help tackle disease.
Dr Papa is King’s College London’s clinical reader and a consultant in Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust where she is the lead for skin cancer research.
She said: “As clinicians we focus our work on making a genuine difference for our patients.
“We aim to reduce the impact of symptoms and improve the quality and length of life for our patients.
“As researchers we address the underlying biology of these cancers. Clinical researchers are key to bringing these goals together.
“I am delighted to have been recognised for the valuable work that we do here at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College London.
“Cell therapies are changing outcomes for some patients with blood cancers.
“Taking these therapies into more prevalent solid tumours requires coordinated effort across medical specialities.
“We are at the cutting edge of early phase cell therapy trials, exemplified by our trial in head and neck cancer.
“Building on the skills we have developed through this work we have an expanding portfolio of cell therapy trials in solid tumours.
“I am committed to developing the science and clinical teams needed to deliver these treatments safely and effectively.”