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Collaboration on cancer

A unique international conference on cancer which will bring together physicists, cancer researchers and clinical oncologists will take place in St Andrews this week (2nd-4th February 2005).

The conference, hosted by the Bute Medical School at the University of St Andrews will look at how cancer specialists could be assisted by other disciplines and will involve 25 leading experts from all over the world.

The ‘Cancer Colloquia’ will be the first of two major events to be held annually at St Andrews over the next 5-7 years, with the purpose of encouraging cross- fertilisation and to provide new insights in the disease from other disciplines. The event will open up communication between doctors and scientists working towards the same aim of curing cancer, especially those whose paths may not usually cross.

The conference will particularly focus on bringing together leading international experts in physics and medicine who are applying physical techniques to the detection and treatment of cancer – already an area of strength at St Andrews. The University has successfully established Interdisciplinary groups in medical photonics between the Schools of Physics & Astronomy, the Bute Medical School and the School of Biology. The Bute Medical School was established in 2002 and over the last 2 years it has emerged as a centre of leading cancer studies with a number of key appointments in the field.

Professor Andrew Riches, a key cancer researcher at St Andrews, said: “The idea of this conference is to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of current methods and to try to focus on a vision of new and novel approaches for the future.

“We have already successfully exploited a number of advances in optoelectronics and are looking forward to developing the programme further.”

The event is sponsored by an anonymous Charitable Trust, who selected St Andrews as the ideal place to host a prestigious event of this nature, which will be held over three days at the University’s flagship Gateway building. The charity developed the idea because they believe that senior figures in cancer research are beginning to realise that progress may only be made by crossing subject boundaries previously not deemed particularly relevant.

Topics will focus on different areas of leading edge cancer research, with key speakers from the US, Germany, Canada and the UK, including the University’s own Professors Simon Herrington and Kishan Dholakia. It is hoped that the conference will breed future collaborations and new lines of research, while avoiding future duplication of the same types of research.

ENDS

Issued by Beattie Media

On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook, Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st- andrews.ac.uk Ref: collaboration on cancer 010205.doc View the latest University press releases at http://www.st- andrews.ac.uk

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