Leicester launches new cancer research Centre

Posted by ap507 at Sep 05, 2014 11:36 AM |
University of Leicester expertise involved in new East Midlands Centre

Leicester today, Friday September 5, becomes the next link in a unique chain of Cancer Research UK Centres that have been launched across the UK.

This new cancer centre will draw together world class laboratory research with medical expertise to provide the best possible results for cancer patients nationwide.

The Leicester Cancer Research UK Centre will help set the pace for national and international progress in lung cancer and cancer that affects the immune system. The Centre will build on Leicester’s pioneering research into the genetics and biology of cancer, as well as developing new ways to prevent, detect and treat the disease.

Collaboration is the key to the success of the Centre which will enable researchers who might not normally work together to exchange ideas and information more easily. The new centre is a partnership between the University of Leicester and Leicester’s University NHS Hospitals working with the Medical Research Council (MRC) Toxicology Unit based at the University campus and the charity - Hope Against Cancer.

The Centre aims to be a world leader in developing targeted treatments tailored to individual cancer patients based on understanding the biology of the disease and how that varies among patients.

The partnership means a new generation of cancer researchers and clinicians will be trained in Leicester. Funding will create five new posts as well as a series of PhD positions - all essential for the future of research and the development of new treatments.

Cancer Research UK already supports research in Leicester but is now set to invest a further £1million over three years to help develop the Centre.

Professor Catrin Pritchard, professor of cancer biochemistry at the University of Leicester, will lead the centre jointly with Professor Will Steward, Vice-Dean of the Medical School, Chair of Medical Oncology and Head of the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, University of Leicester.

Professor Pritchard said: “The Leicester Cancer Research UK Centre provides a focal point for cancer activities within the region and will undoubtedly mean that we can bring cutting edge trials and treatments to the region, which can only lead to better outcomes for patients.

“We will also be setting up a public engagement agenda so people in the region will become more aware of the causes of cancer and how they the disease can be most effectively prevented. Setting up this Centre is a tribute to the hard work that all of our scientists and clinicians have put in to our cancer related research activities in recent years, as well as the support of our various partners, particularly Hope Against Cancer and the MRC Toxicology Unit.

“Launching the Centre is a recognition of our scientific excellence, as well as the first rate infrastructure we have developed for undertaking translational research and clinical trials.”

Nigel Rose, chief executive of Hope Against Cancer, said: “Hope Against Cancer is very proud to have played our part in this status being brought to Leicester. We have a key role in funding important clinical research within the partnership, ensuring we help deliver better outcomes for patients and achieving the greatest impact in the local and national fight against cancer.”   

Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: "Huge progress has been made in beating cancer since the charity was formed and we’re determined to carry on. Funding these centres continues to be one of the charity's priorities and will enable us to work towards the goals we have set to improve the treatment and survival of cancer patients. But we continue to welcome the generous donations we receive from the public to ensure we can continue to build on what we have started today."

ENDS

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