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Lancaster Backs Calls For More Cancer Research Funding

09/30/2009 12:55:22

Cancer researchers in the lab at Lancaster University
Cancer researchers in the lab at Lancaster University

Lancaster University is backing the North West Cancer Research Fund’s call for more investment in research to find treatments for the disease.

The charity has raised over £28million over the last 60 years and is currently funding three research centres at Lancaster, Liverpool and Bangor Universities.

The North West Cancer Research Fund is backing Gordon Brown’s plans for improved cancer testing, but insists research into treatments should not be ignored.

Dr Edward Parkin from Lancaster University specialises in prostate cancer research and insists that the reliability of early detection tests also needs to be considered: “By the time the first symptoms of cancer manifest themselves there is a real possibility that the disease may have already spread too far. In addition to improving disease detection rates, the investment of funding into research to develop new and more reliable tests and treatments is of the utmost importance.

The charity raises money to fund research into the causes of the disease, how it develops and spreads and also ways of providing better diagnoses and treatment.

Dr Daimark Bennett from University of Liverpool is currently researching how ovarian cancer spreads, he said: “Screening for the disease in cases where there is a family history is likely to be of particular importance, but currently has a low positive predictive value in the general population and could be associated with increased rate of surgery and patient anxiety.

“Unfortunately late diagnosis of ovarian cancer is almost always fatal. This is why the development and implementation of screening strategies must be accompanied by novel therapeutic approaches to treat later stage cancers that have already become malignant.”

“Although both charity and government funding has progressed our understanding of cancer greatly in recent years it is important that we recognise the necessity to continue funding this incredibly important area of medical research.”

On average, around 90p in every pound donated to North West Cancer Research Fund has been spent on actual research. At any one time, up to 30 projects are underway, each receiving an average of £95,000 for a three year study.