Research into improving the survival chances of cancer patients by academics at the University of St Andrews is to receive a £1.4 million funding boost.
The money will be used over the next five years to develop imaging technology to improve cancer detection.
The imaging of cancer is an essential part of cancer diagnosis as it can help doctors to identify exactly where the cancer has spread and decide whether surgery, radiotherapy or drugs will be more effective.
Professor Simon Herrington, lead scientist for the University of St Andrews’ cancer imaging programme grant said, “We’re delighted to have been awarded this grant to further our research in cancer imaging.
“Investigation in this important area is vital for improving many aspects of a cancer patient’s journey – from detection to treatment.”
The St Andrews research is part of a £50 million nationwide scheme that will see five cancer research imaging programmes set up at Newcastle University, The University of Sheffield, The Royal Surrey County Hospital and The Childhood Cancer and Leukaemia Group at The University of Birmingham, in addition to the University of St Andrews.
Four cancer centres will also be supported at Imperial College London, The Institute of Cancer Research, a joint centre between King’s College London and University College London and The University of Oxford.
The research will bring together scientists, engineers and clinicians interested in all aspects of imaging research, speeding up advances in new technologies and benefiting patients.
Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said, “Imaging is fast becoming one of the most effective means of detecting cancer early and of determining which treatment works for which patient.
“Cancer Research UK has identified imaging research as a priority and we believe this substantial investment over the next five years will reap many benefits.”
Traditional imaging techniques, such as X-ray and ultrasound, will also be developed and refined at the new centres.
Cancer Research UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) hope that their investment will establish the UK as a world leader in cancer imaging research.
The Medical Research Council and the National Institute for Health research will also contribute to the initiative that will see the developments and introduction of the latest imaging technologies to help advances in basic and clinical cancer research.
The Medical Research Council will also contribute £2 million towards a new cyclotron – a particle accelerator used to produce radioactive tracers for cancer studies – at the University of Oxford, which will complement the project.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
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Ref: cancer imaging 09/10/08
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