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Charities launch groundbreaking research centre in Newcastle

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by Cancer Research UK | News

1 July 2009

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The opening of a unique centre today (Wednesday) will put Newcastle at the forefront of cancer research and bring benefits to patients in the North East.

The Newcastle Centre for Cancer Research based at Newcastle University will be jointly funded by three charities – Cancer Research UK, Leukaemia Research and the North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund.

The Centre will bring together leading UK researchers and help set the pace for national and international progress in diagnosing and treating the whole spectrum of different cancers including cancers of the blood in adults and children.

It will concentrate on understanding the basic biology of how and why cancers develop so new drugs can be designed. A priority will also be personalised medicine where instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, treatments are tailored to individual cancer patient’s needs. This avoids unnecessary side effects and improves survival rates.

Collaboration will be the key to the success of the Centre, which will make it easier for researchers to work alongside doctors treating patients on the ward. This enables patients to benefit as soon as possible from any breakthroughs in research.

The Centre will be based at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research at Newcastle University. Cancer Research UK plans to launch up to 20 centres around the UK.

Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: “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 across all types of cancer. We’re now committing £5.5million every year towards research in the Newcastle centre. We continue to welcome the generous donations we receive from the public to ensure we can continue to build on what we have started today.”

Cathy Gilman, chief executive of Leukaemia Research, said: “Leukaemia Research has nearly £4million invested in research here in Newcastle. Closer collaboration between scientists at the Newcastle Centre for Cancer Research will mean we can make quicker progress towards new drugs and more personalised treatments for patients with leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma in the North East and the rest of the UK.”

David Wood, chairman of the North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund, said: “Newcastle hosts one of the leading research teams in Europe focussed on childhood leukaemia and cancer. Great strides have been made in recent years, and here in Newcastle we have the infrastructure to develop new and even better treatments for childhood cancer. The formation of this centre of excellence will help expand this work and take a step nearer to our overall goal of finding a cure for childhood cancer.”


For media enquiries please call the Cancer Research UK London office on 020 7061 8300, or the out of hours’ duty press officer on 07050 264059.