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20 December 2016, 05:28
Scottish scientists are to receive a £16 million boost after a cancer charity announced plans to invest in their work.
Cancer Research UK is to give £8 million each to its centres in Glasgow and Edinburgh over the next five years.
The grants are part of a large investment in its UK centres, with £190 million promised in a total for 13 research centres over the same period.
A particular focus of its Edinburgh centre is research into brain tumours, with the goal of developing better treatments.
The Glasgow centre is said to be a world-leader in pancreatic cancer research. Survival among patients is low but the clinical research could play a key role in improving patients' chances of beating the disease.
A key part of the £16 million funding will involve training the next generation of cancer researchers, including 30 PhD students from both cities.
Professor Margaret Frame, science director at the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh centre, said: ''From research into how brain tumours develop and grow, to identifying genetic and environmental markers that could help diagnose bowel cancer sooner, Edinburgh is home to world-class cancer research.
''This award represents a critical investment in the research infrastructure at Edinburgh, equipping us with the key laboratory and clinical tools needed to advance the understanding and treatment of cancer for the benefit of people in Scotland and beyond.''
The Edinburgh and Glasgow sites are described as ''cutting edge research centres'' which draw together world-class research and medical expertise to provide the best possible results for cancer patients.
Professor Owen Sansom, interim director at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute in Glasgow, said: ''The city is home to a thriving community of world-class cancer scientists and doctors who are working to reduce the devastating impact of this disease, not only locally, but around the world.
''This award means we will be able to further develop our work in translational research, getting cutting-edge discoveries from the laboratory to patients, and learning as much as possible from patients to initiate new research.''
Cancer experts say that every hour, four people are diagnosed with the disease in Scotland.
The charity is also launching its Right Now campaign, which focuses on the men, women and children facing cancer and urges people in Scotland to take action in the fight against the disease.
Victoria Steven, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman for Scotland, said: ''People across Scotland hear the words 'you have cancer' every day. Our campaign aims to highlight the huge emotional and physical impact that those words have on a patient and their loved ones.
''Survival has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK's work has been at the heart of that progress - but every step our doctors, nurses and scientists take relies on donations from the public and the tireless fundraising of our supporters.''