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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Radiation Response

EBR: What attracted you to the pharmaceutical industry?

Adrian Treverton: I have worked in many markets over the years. In the radiation oncology field, there are really big advances being made by combining radiation with molecular targets. The idea that researchers can use the systems we build to ultimately improve the lives of cancer patients is hugely rewarding.

How has the industry changed since you entered it?

From a preclinical radiation oncology research perspective, the industry has really started to change its thinking. Radiation and chemotherapy used to be two separate treatment modalities, and radiation was seen as a palliative treatment. Now the pharma industry is looking at radiation as an essential tool in the spectrum of cancer care. This is being shown in new publications that combine radiation with chemotherapy and immunotherapies.

What big trends will we see developing over the next few years?

Researchers will further the use of radiation and molecular targets to treat cancer. Preclinically, we are already using human-derived cancer models along with radiation delivery to get a better understanding of treatment response at a genetic level. Future generations will see cancer therapies based on the patient’s genome, be it radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of both.

What should the industry focus on in 2014-15?

The industry should recognise that 60-70% of cancer patients will receive radiation as part of their disease management. Developing agents that complement radiation delivery will lead to great success in patient outcomes. In addition, radiation can be helpful in many other indications, which can be enhanced with the right molecular targets.

What are your goals for the coming year?

My company’s vision is a future where every patient receives patient-centred healthcare. We are enabling researchers to advance translational medicine by providing clinically relevant technology. My goal is to continue to promote the use of radiation in cancer research, and continue to develop our technology in line with the needs of our researchers.

What inspires you in your daily life?

I have lost close family and friends to cancer, so I am inspired by the fact that I can contribute to the fight against this disease.

What is the secret to your success?

My customers are at the top of my organisation; I listen to them and give the best support and service. You cannot enhance technology without hearing what your customers are saying.

How do you think the pharma industry as a whole will change over the next decade?

I would like to see radiation therapy being utilised in the most effective way to enhance patient care, for many different indications beyond cancer. A key to this is the pharma industry developing drugs that complement and enhance the effects of radiation.

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Adrian Treverton, Chief Operating Officer at Xstrahl Life Sciences, holds a Physics degree and MSc in Optics from Imperial College London. He joined Xstrahl in 2006 as Sales Director, leading the sales and marketing of its Orthovoltage X-ray therapy systems. In 2009, Adrian was instrumental in commercialising the SARRP from Johns Hopkins University.
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