Walker, David

Paediatric Neuro-Oncologist

University of Nottingham, UK

Children's Brain Tumour Research Centre (CBTRC)

The Children's Brain Tumour Research Centre has chosen drug delivery to be a main theme of our research effort. As part of this, I Chair the Children's Brain Tumour Drug Delivery Consortium (CBTDDC). This consortium seeks to make the links that will lead to novel drug delivery systems targeting the needs of children with brain tumours who currently run the risk of the toxicity of their treatment significantly compromising their quality of survival. We want to stimulate intelligent solutions to cancer eradication and control within the brain by working smart not hard.

I have worked as a paediatric oncologist for 3 decades and participated in the development and management of clinical trials in childhood cancer during that time. The limited impact of conventional chemotherapy in the childhood brain tumours led to me exploring targeted drug delivery as a translational strategy.

About 10 years ago I started exploring the selection of existing chemotherapy agents suitable for intra-CSF therapy for leptomeningeal metastases from primary brain tumours by specifying pharmacological criteria for their optimal selection. This led to the design of a clinical trial to explore infusional intra-CSF etoposide as treatment for leptomeningeal tumour. This trial was funded by CRUK but is blocked currently as we do not have a clinically acceptable access cutaneous port for drug delivery. I am currently leading the development of a trial for interstitial infusional drug delivery to childhood brain stem tumours. 

Existing collaborations relevant to drug delivery

Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group

NCRI / CCL - CNS Sub Group

University of Birmingham Children's Cancer Trial Team

School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham.

Publications relevant to drug delivery

NAILOR,A, WALKER,DA and ET AL, 2016. Highlights of Children with Cancer UK’s Workshop on Drug Delivery in Paediatric Brain Tumours eCancer. 10, 630.  Associated videos http://ecancer.org/conference/videos/831-drug-delivery-in-paediatric-brain-tumours.php

DP Ivanov, B Coyle, DA Walker, AM Grabowska. 2016 In vitro models of medulloblastoma: Choosing the right tool for the job. Journal of biotechnology 236, 10-25

MENG,W, GARNETT,M.C. and WALKER,D.A., 2016. Penetration and intracellular uptake of poly(glycerol-adipate) nanoparticles into three-dimensional brain tumour cell culture models. Exp Biol Med. 241(5), 466-477

IVANOV,D.P., PARKER,T.L., WALKER,D.A., ALEXANDER,C., ASHFORD,M, GELLERT,P.R. and GARNETT,M.C., 2015. In vitro co-culture model of medulloblastoma and human neural stem cells for drug delivery assessment. Journal of Biotechnology. (In Press.)  Theme: Drug Delivery

IVANOV DP, PARKER TL, WALKER DA, ALEXANDER C, ASHFORD MB, GELLERT PR and GARNETT MC, 2014. Multiplexing spheroid volume, resazurin and acid phosphatase viability assays for high-throughput screening of tumour spheroids and stem cell neurospheres. PloS one. 9(8), e103817  Theme: Drug delivery

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