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Public events

Cancer Research Open Day October 2015

27 October 2015

Cardiff University Cancer Research Open Day was held on 24 October 2015 with a packed programme of talks, activities and lab tours.

The event aimed to show the public how researchers are fighting cancer in Cardiff and gave a rare opportunity to meet the scientists, doctors and nurses who are working together to help beat cancer sooner.


Prof Arwyn Jones,  Dr Julia Gee and Dr Andy Westwell  with Team Pharmacy were enthusiastically involved and hosted an interactive stand demonstrating how we are working together to discover cancer mechanisms pioneering development of new cancer drugs.

Prof Arwyn Jones giving lecture.

Build a Cancer Drug and Skittle Game

The idea of the game at the PHRMY stand was to try and convey to the general public the concept of antihormone resistance;  A problem which can develop during breast cancer treatment with drugs such as tamoxifen. Richard McClelland who designed and built The Skittles Game which represents cancer cells which could be successfully treated (responsive cells) by being knocked down by the antihormone drug (the swinging medicine bottle). However a few of the skittles were magnetised which made them less easy for the treatment to knock down. These represented the antihormone resistant cells, which can be more difficult to treat.

The Skittles Game

The Skittles Game

Other parts of the PHRMY stand then went on to describe how we are tackling this resistance problem in the laboratory through the development and study of novel breast cancer cell lines which reflect both the drug responsive and drug resistant tumour types. These cell lines allow us to compare their gene expression and proteins produced and thus identify potential pathways and molecules involved in the resistance process. We can then develop new drugs to target these that hopefully can delay or prevent the antihormone drug resistance developing in the laboratory.