Leicester cancer scientists receive £1.1 million grant to continue testing groundbreaking cancer medicine

Posted by pt91 at May 07, 2012 12:05 AM |
Cancer Research UK and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) fund Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre for a further five years
Leicester cancer scientists receive £1.1 million grant to continue testing groundbreaking cancer medicine

L to R: Professor Karen Brown, Dr Glen Irving, Professor Will Steward, Dr Jacqui Shaw and Professor Catrin Pritchard.

Issued by Cancer Research UK and University of Leicester on 7 May 2012

The University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust has received a £1.1 million grant to continue working with local patients to develop innovative new cancer treatments. 

Leicester Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) has been awarded funding for a further five years from Cancer Research UK and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

The centre allows the University’s cancer researchers to work with clinical staff at Leicester’s hospitals and test new treatments they have developed in the University’s laboratories.

Researchers will be able to continue working with patients directly to test chemoprevention drugs that can reduce the risk of cancer, as well as experimental treatments for a variety of cancers, with a particular emphasis on lung cancer and leukaemia.

The centre, which was opened in April 2007, employs six staff members and involves more than 40 cancer researchers from the University of Leicester’s College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology and clinical staff at Leicester’s hospitals.

It is one of 18 centres around the UK which are part of the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre Network.

The network aims to bring together lab scientists with cancer doctors to speed up the flow of ideas from the lab bench to the patient's bedside.

Professor Karen Brown, Joint Principal Investigator within the Centre and Reader in the University’s Cancer Biomarkers and Prevention Group, said: “It is brilliant we have had our funding renewed. It means we are part of the ECMC network which ensures we get to interact with all the other major cancer centres within the UK.

“It gives us vital funding, because it is absolutely essential we can get clinical samples and recruit more patients to our clinical trials.”

Professor Will Steward, who also leads the Centre and is Head of the University's Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, said: "The renewal of funding and membership of the ECMC Network keeps Leicester at the forefront of cancer drug development and allows us to develop discoveries made in our laboratories into new approaches to treatment by moving them rapidly into clinical trials.  It is extremely exciting and adds to the ability of the UK to contribute to advances in helping people to prevent or treat cancer."

Dr Joanna Reynolds, Cancer Research UK’s director of centres, said: "Funding these Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres is a priority for the charity. The network is completely unique in the world and enables scientists and doctors to work side-by-side across the UK to improve the treatment for cancer patients across all types of cancer. The result is a clinical trials network that has underpinned the development of some of the most promising and innovative new cancer treatments today.  Some of these are already on the path to becoming established treatments for future cancer patients.

“It’s thanks to the generous donations we receive from the public that we are able to fund this important work. Survival rates for cancer have doubled over the last 40 years and we must continue to build on this great progress."


For more information please contact Professor Will Steward, Joint Principal Investigator within the ECMC and Head of the University’s Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, at wps1@le.ac.uk or on 0116 258 7597.

Notes for editors

The Leicester ECMC is a virtual centre based within existing departments in the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology and Leicester’s Hospitals.

About the ECMC Network

The Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) network, is jointly supported by Cancer Research UK and the Departments of Health of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It launched in 2006, with £35M funding over five years, with a further £35M announced in 2011 for five more years to fund centres across the UK. Each ECMC brings together lab-based experts in cancer biology with cancer doctors to speed up the flow of ideas from the lab bench to the patient’s bedside. Find out more at www.ecmcnetwork.org.uk

About the NIHR

The National Institute for Health Research provides the framework through which the research staff and research infrastructure of the NHS in England is positioned, maintained and managed as a national research facility.  The NIHR provides the NHS with the support and infrastructure it needs to conduct first-class research funded by the Government and its partners alongside high-quality patient care, education and training.  Its aim is to support outstanding individuals (both leaders and collaborators), working in world class facilities (both NHS and university), conducting leading edge research focused on the needs of patients. http://www.nihr.ac.uk/

About Cancer Research UK

· Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research

  • The charity’s groundbreaking work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.  This work is funded entirely by the public.

  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates in the UK double in the last forty years.

  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.

  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to beat cancer.

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1861 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org

Report by Mark Cardwell


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