New cancer research centre launched in Glasgow

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK today (Thursday) launches a new Centre which will accelerate the pace of research in Glasgow and see the city become a world leader in the development of new treatments tailored for individual cancer patients.

The new Glasgow Centre – the Cancer Research UK West of Scotland Cancer Centre – is Scotland’s final link in a unique chain of Cancer Research UK centres that are being launched across the UK, and will help set the pace for national and international progress in cancer research.

Collaboration is key to the success of the Centre which will enable researchers who are not usually able to work together to exchange ideas and information more easily. The Centre will build collaborations to translate research into new ways to detect and treat cancer.

The new Centre will also help provide people in the West of Scotland with cutting-edge cancer treatment in state-of-the-art facilities, as well as help train the next generation of leaders in cancer research and cancer care.

The University of Glasgow’s Professor Karen Vousden, director of the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, said: “This is a very exciting development for cancer research in Scotland. The new Centre will help us bring together a variety of researchers and clinicians to collaborate and work together to improve the lives of cancer patients across Scotland. By building closer links between scientists and doctors we want to increase the pace of research leading to improved treatments for people with cancer."

The Centre will draw together world class laboratory research and medical expertise from the University of Glasgow, the University of Strathclyde and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to provide the best possible results for cancer patients nationwide. The Centre will help bring together researchers at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research and the Cancer Research UK Formulation Unit.

Gary Nellies, 47 from Glasgow, was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2004. Gary said: “My surgeon told me that when she was operating on my bowel she noticed cysts on my liver. I had to recover from that surgery before I could do anything else. Ten weeks after my first operation I was back in and they removed a section of my liver.
“Shortly after my second operation my doctors noticed spots on my lungs and I was confirmed as having secondary tumours in my lungs. This was hard for me to take but I decided to do absolutely anything I could to deal with the situation.

“I have been able to take part in five different clinical trials since I was diagnosed. They give me the chance to try some potentially really exciting new treatments while also helping to increase our understanding of the disease. Four years ago I was told I may only have two years to live, so right now everything is a bonus and I’m so grateful for all the care and attention I’m getting.”

Gary said: “Cancer research is so important. It is really great news that Glasgow, where I am treated, is becoming a Cancer Research UK Centre. I’m so thankful for the incredible skills of everyone who is helping me through my cancer experience.”

The Centre will build on Glasgow’s world class research in the areas of drug discovery and how cancer spreads around the body. The focus will be on research into bowel cancer and chronic myeloid leukaemia, working to make new discoveries in basic cell biology then helping to translate those into new treatments.

Professor Gavin Halbert, director of the Cancer Research UK Formulation Unit at the University of Strathclyde, said: “The Centre is a tremendous initiative that will galvanise the city’s world-leading status as a centre for the development of new cancer treatments, spanning the entire process from biology, to chemistry, pharmacy, oncology and, ultimately, the patient.”

Cancer Research UK already supports research in Glasgow. The grant to fund the new Centre is around £1million in the first year, bringing the charity’s total funding to more than £20 million a year in the city.

The vast majority of all of Scotland’s clinical trials in cancer are run in Glasgow, through the Clinical Trials Unit at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre.

Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: "Huge progress has been made in beating cancer since the charity was formed and we’re determined to save more lives. Funding these centres of excellence is one of the charity's priorities and will enable us to work towards the goals we have set to improve the treatment and survival of cancer patients. But we continue to welcome the generous donations we receive from the public to ensure we can build on what we have started today."

ENDS

For more information contact the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 3469 8300 or, out of hours, on 07050 264 059.

Notes to Editor

Latest figures show that around 27,000 cancer cases are diagnosed in Scotland each year.

More than 15,000 people die from cancer in Scotland every year.

Cancer Research UK Centres aim to establish a nationwide network of excellence that will provide the best possible outcomes for patients by linking research activity with patient care and public engagement. Each Centre will focus on specific areas of research and aim to raise standards of care and forge links with local communities.