Cambridge scientist wins Cancer Innovation Award

In collaboration with the Press Association

A scientist from Cambridge has won the Overall Cancer Innovation Award at the 2007 Medical Futures Innovation Awards. Dr Nicholas Coleman was awarded the prestigious accolade for identifying new cancer markers that are only present in cancer cells.

This innovation could help to revolutionise cancer screening by providing an accurate way of detecting a range of cancers early. Kate Law, director of clinical trials at Cancer Research UK, which helped to fund Dr Coleman's work, commented: "This is a very exciting area of research, and we commend Dr Coleman, Professor Laskey and their teams for their work. "Early diagnosis is the single most important factor for improving survival prospects for many types of cancer. "High levels of MCM proteins reflect a faulty process in cells that begins long before the tumour reaches an easily detectable size. "MCM proteins therefore have potential as the basis of simple non-invasive tests for a range of cancers, including cervical, bladder, colorectal, lung, and oesophageal cancer. "Such tests could enable cost-effective cervical and oral cancer screening in the developing world." The Medical Futures Innovation Awards attracted a record number of entries this year and were judged by an expert panel including heart and lung transplant pioneer Sir Magdi Yacoub, cancer tsar Professor Mike Richards and Oxford pharmacology professor Baroness Susan Greenfield. The winners were announced at a ceremony on June 14th in Central London.