latest health care news

15.02.18

Charity puts £45m investment into cancer clinical trials

Cancer Research UK has announced a £45m investment into clinical trials.

It will be one of the charity’s biggest investments to date and will be used to find cures for hard to treat types of cancer.

Over the next five years the money will be split across its UK-wide network of clinical trial units (CTUs) in Cardiff, Birmingham, Glasgow, Southampton, Leeds and London.

Professor Charles Swanton, the charity’s chief clinician, said: “Our clinical research enables us to translate discoveries from the lab in order to improve cancer diagnostics and treatments, giving more patients the best chance of beating their disease.

“This is particularly important for patients with hard to treat cancers, including pancreatic, oesophageal, lung and brain tumours, where options for treatment are limited and survival rates remain poor.”

The charity’s CTUs specialise in the design, delivery and analysis of trials and each has a different specialist focus including children’s cancer trials, cancer screening, and population research.

In Birmingham, funding will be made available for finding new treatments for children with cancer.

Director of Birmingham’s Cancer Research UK CTU, Professor Pamela Kearns, said: “As a paediatric oncologist, I am particularly pleased this funding will allow us to continue to build on our programme of clinical trials to improve the care of children with cancer.

“One question this trial is trying to answer is if a drug called bevacizumab can help treat their neuroblastoma,” he explained.

“Bevacizumab is a type of biological therapy called a monoclonal antibody that targets the tumour’s blood supply. Doctors already treat adult cancers with this drug and we want to see if it works for children with neuroblastoma.”

Clinical trials are the only way to find out if a new treatment is safe to use and if it is better than existing treatments.

Around 25,000 people take part in trials supported by Cancer Research UK each year.

Top image: sturti

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