Watch Leicester cancer expert speak at the House of Lords

Posted by er134 at Feb 27, 2014 04:23 PM |
New video shows University of Leicester mesothelioma expert Professor Dean Fennell speaking at the House of Lords in support of Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill

In terms of prestigious platforms for University of Leicester research, it doesn’t get much bigger than the House of Lords.

But that’s exactly where University of Leicester cancer expert Professor Dean Fennell (pictured) appeared on Monday to discuss his important work on mesothelioma – a form of cancer closely linked to exposure to asbestos.

He was appearing at Parliament at the invitation of Lord Maurice Saatchi – whose Medical Innovation Bill was the subject of the Lords’ very first Google Hangout event.

The bill aims to allow doctors to gain more flexibility in applying innovative approaches based on scientific research and advances when treating patients.

Professor Fennell explained how the bill would help his own research into mesothelioma – which predominantly affects those exposed to asbestos.

Even though the UK issued a ban on asbestos in 1985, the number of deaths caused by the disease each year continues to grow.

Numbers of patients in the UK have grown from 153 in 1968 to 2,321 in 2009 – and the UK has the highest incidence in the world.

This number is set to continue to rise sharply over the next 20 years, with a peak coming in 2020.

Professor Fennell is leading a number of clinical trials which aim to find new and innovative ways of tackling and treating the disease – including the COMMAND (Control of Mesothelioma with MAiNtenance Defactinib) study and Meso2.

You can watch him speak from 28:30 in the video below:


As a result of the event, Professor Fennell has been asked back to Parliament for an “Asbestos Update” meeting on Wednesday, July 16 by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health.

Professor Fennell’s appearance at the House of Lords speaks volumes about the quality of cancer research being undertaken at the University – and the impact it is having at a national level.

The University was recently selected to house a prestigious Cancer Research UK Centre as part of a national £100 million investment by Cancer Research UK to help train a new generation of cancer researchers and get new treatments and diagnostics to cancer patients sooner.

The investment marks the latest phase in the development of the Cancer Research UK Centres network of excellence – a unique chain of research hubs that have been established across the country.

This new £100m of funding will further draw together world class research and medical expertise to provide the best possible results for cancer patients nationwide.

Cancer Research UK is providing funding over three years from April 2014 and will provide staff positions to support the Leicester Centre’s infrastructure and a PhD studentship account for training the next generation of cancer researchers.

•             Press release for Professor Dean Fennell’s House of Lords appearance

•             Press release for Cancer Research UK Centre status