Scots cancer research to get £4.5m boost

15 February 2018, 10:15

Biologist carrying out cancer research

Almost £4.5 million is to be put into cancer research over the next five years in Scotland.

Cancer Research UK has announced plans to invest the funds at the charity's Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) in Glasgow.

The grant will allow doctors and scientists to continue "groundbreaking" work in finding better and kinder treatments for patients.

Professor Robert Jones, CTU lead, said: "The cancer research programme in Glasgow is fully geared towards making new discoveries and translating those discoveries into real improvements for patients.

"Clinical trials are vital to test new treatments. For example, we are now running the PRIMUS trials in pancreatic cancer, a common cancer for which there are currently few effective treatments."

The centre, based at Glasgow University, gives people with cancer access to treatments by linking laboratory discoveries to clinical research in hospitals and clinics across the UK.

Trials are currently underway at the CTU to help find better treatments for patients with brain tumours, pancreatic cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer.

Its PRIMUS trials are part of a major programme of research being led by scientists in Glasgow which could transform pancreatic cancer trials in the UK.

Professor Jones added: "Patients who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have tumour tissue sent to labs in Glasgow for genetic testing.

"Depending on the results of this testing, the patient is then offered one of a growing suite of clinical trials which we hope will be best suited to the particular form of the disease that they have.

"We believe that this approach will result in better treatment, by avoiding the side effects of the current 'one size fits all' chemotherapy and offering treatments which will be more specific to the individual patient's tumour."

The latest funding announcement follows a major review by the charity of all its Cancer Research UK CTUs.

This has resulted in £45 million being invested into eight units across the UK, one of the charity's largest investments in clinical research to date.

Victoria Steven, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman for Scotland, said: "This crucial investment recognises the fantastic research taking place in Glasgow.

"It ensures researchers can take full advantage of our most promising scientific discoveries and translate them into new tests and treatments for patients.

"One-in-two of us will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lives - so it's reassuring to know that, thanks to our supporters, Cancer Research UK is able to fund some of the best and most promising research here in Scotland, to help more people survive."