‘Golden era’ of cancer research arrives as Manchester scientists receive share of £100million cash boost

By Tim Hyde

Disease-fighting Manchester scientists have been awarded money from a nationwide £100million Cancer Research UK investment.

The investment marks the latest phase in the development of the Cancer Research UK Centres network of excellence which is striving towards finding new treatments for cancer patients.

Scientists from around the city will come together at the Manchester Research Centre in order to draw together their expertise and knowledge for the benefit of cancer sufferers everywhere.

Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: “We are in a golden era of cancer research.

“The research tools at our disposal are unprecedented and these centres will grasp the opportunities that are within reach for them. Our research is saving lives today.  

“These centres will enable more research that will save more lives tomorrow.”

Manchester Cancer Research Centre fought off competition from 21 centres across the country as only 15  hubs received funding making it the largest cancer focused cohort of clinical PhDs in the EU.

Funding was awarded after an extensive process overseen by an international panel of experts who chose the centres with the most exciting potential to deliver advances in cancer research.

Scientists from the Manchester Centre will target lung cancer, women’s cancers, melanoma and blood cancers, personalised medicine, radiotherapy and molecular pathology.

A key part of the funding will also go towards training the next generation of cancer researchers with more than 200 PhDs receiving funding – leading to 80 PhDs becoming cancer clinicians.

Cancer Research UK hopes the funding will help improve the standard of care and help forge links with local communities.

Professor Nic Jones, director of the Manchester Research Centre, said: “This is fantastic news. The renewal of funding is an endorsement of the research we are doing here and of the partnership approach at the heart of the centre.

“The investment in training is especially important and will ensure that we have the expertise and skills to continue to make breakthroughs that lead to improved outcomes for cancer patients.”

The Manchester Cancer Research Centre is a partnership between The University of Manchester, Cancer Research UK and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.

“With the new MCRC research building due to be completed in Summer 2014, we have an outstanding opportunity in Manchester to make a valuable contribution to the network of excellence and to drive research that changes lives,” added Mr Kumar.

“None of that is possible without the generous donations we receive from the public. It is an incredible story of collaboration – the public, cancer patients, scientists, the NHS, universities and Cancer Research UK – all working together.”

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