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Newcastle scientists host top conference in Gateshead

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by Cancer Research UK | News

4 October 2005

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Newcastle scientists will play host to an international audience of researchers and doctors at a major conference in Gateshead from 5-7 October.

The three-day event at the Hilton Hotel is being organised by Cancer Research UK scientists from Newcastle University and has attracted experts from top universities and industry across Europe, America and Japan.

Entitled ‘PARP 2005: Bench to Bedside’ the conference is dedicated to the latest research on PARP, an enzyme that signals DNA damage to the DNA repair kit found in cells.

Although PARP enzymes were discovered 40 years ago, recent research suggests they could form the basis of new cancer treatments. It also has implications for the treatment of stroke, heart disease and chronic conditions such as arthritis.

Cancer Research UK’s Dr Nicola Curtin, Senior Lecturer in Cell Biology at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research, says: “We are very excited to be hosting such a prestigious event. The conference has attracted key international speakers from all over the world. It allows us to share our expertise and knowledge and exchange ideas for the future.”

Scientists at Newcastle University have an international reputation for anti-cancer drug development.

They have been able to attract the landmark conference to Tyneside thanks to their leading role in unravelling how PARP protects cells from anti-cancer drugs and radiotherapy.

Dr Curtin explains: “At Newcastle, we are working on a class of drugs known as PARP inhibitors which block the action of DNA repair kits. They result in the destruction of cancerous cells, while healthy cells are left relatively unharmed.”

Dr Lesley Walker, Director of Cancer Information at Cancer Research UK, says: “Scientists at Newcastle University have an international reputation for anti-cancer drug development and this is a great opportunity to showcase their work.”

She adds: “It is also a chance to highlight the new facilities at the Northern Institute of Cancer Research Paul O’Gorman building which Cancer Research UK has helped to fund.”


For media inquiries contact Julia Haran, Cancer Research UK Regional Press Officer, on 0191 281 6736 or mobile 07900 137 935, or the Cancer Research UK Science Press Office on 0207 061 8318, or out of hours 07050 264 059.