One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Cambridge: £10m Cancer Drive Starts
The Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust (ACT) has launched a £10 million campaign to transform cancer services at the Cambridge hospital.
Due to the growing population of the region, it is predicted the hospital will see around 3,300 more individual cancer patients a year by 2020.
The unit currently sees around 4,000 new cancer patients every year.
However patients face a cancer unit at the Addenbrooke's site which, on the face of it, hasn't changed much visually since the 1960s.
They must also currently move across different locations at the hospital for various aspects of their treatment.
ACT want to see a 21st century modern environment, in one location for cancer patients to continue get the best treatment.
Cambridge is a major contributor in the fight against cancer because of its' exceptional concentration of scientific and medical expertise.
The Cambridge Biomedical Campus, where Addenbrooke's is based, is home to major cancer research institutions.
ACT says this makes it possible for nearly half of the hospital's cancer patients to be entered into clinical trials, adding to the knowledge about which treatments work best for different types of cancer.
But the trust says investment in clinical services and facilities has lagged behind investment in research, and believes this mis-match looks set to grow unless something is done; hence the £10 million fundraising campaign.
As well as new surroundings, possibly in a dedicated new-build unit, ACT fund specialist equipment for NHS patients, but not afforded by the NHS.
This includes robotic surgeons for certain types of cancer surgery.
ACT also provide money supporting clinical researchers and providing highly valued funding for early stage projects and creating research training opportunties for aspiring clinicians.
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