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A Cancer Research UK Centre (CRUK) is to be launched in Liverpool enabling scientists to lead national and international progress in the study of cancer of the pancreas, head and neck, and blood, as well as pioneer the latest techniques in surgery, radiotherapy and the treatment of children¿s cancers.
The Centre will become part of a chain of research centres to be opened around the country later this year and will bring together the University of Liverpool, the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool City Council and Cheshire Cancer Task Force.
Researchers at the Centre aim to develop treatments tailored to individual cancer patients based on understanding the biology of the disease and how it varies among different people.
Professor John Neoptolemos, Head of the University’s School of Cancer Studies and surgeon at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, will chair the Centre’s board. He said: “Cancer Research UK has brought together eminent researchers and clinicians to collaborate to improve the lives, and extend the survival, of Merseyside’s cancer patients.
“The North West has poor survival rates in a number of cancers. By launching this project the charity has attracted an impressive field of expertise to benefit the people of Liverpool. One of CRUK’s goals is to invest more money in treating patients who have what we call the ‘neglected’ cancers, where survival is poor, for example in pancreatic cancer.”
Cancer Research UK will contribute £3 million a year to develop the Centre, which will also focus on furthering understanding of how cancers start and behave, as well as how to develop better treatments with fewer side effects.
Tony Bell, Chief Executive of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, said: “This Centre puts Liverpool and its strength in research and pioneering healthcare firmly on the map. As a regional cancer centre, we have some of the country’s best medical expertise at our fingertips. This centre will ensure that they – along with the people of Liverpool – are at the cutting edge of research and the development of new tests and treatments for cancer.”
Darren Hurrell, Chief Executive of Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology is committed to the development of world-class cancer services and we believe working in partnership will enable us to provide the best possible results for cancer patients.”
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. But 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.”
The Cancer Research UK Centre will be launched on Wednesday, 25 February.
1. Other contributors to the Centre include Merseyside and Cheshire Cancer Research Network, Liverpool City Council and other local hospitals.
2. 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.
3. Latest figures show that around 7,600 cases of pancreatic cancer are diagnosed each year. Only between two and three per cent survive for five years. In the Merseyside and Cheshire area around 260 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year.
4. The University of Liverpool is a member of the Russell Group of leading research-intensive institutions in the UK. It attracts collaborative and contract research commissions from a wide range of national and international organisations valued at more than £93 million annually.
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