Charities come together to set up ‘world class’ centre for research

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THE fight against cancer in Yorkshire has won a dramatic boost with the opening of a centre of excellence for world-class research.

The charities Cancer Research UK and Yorkshire Cancer Research (YCR) have come together for the first time in the new centre in Sheffield, triggering a huge increase in investment in research.

The unit draws together top research and medical expertise, with a clinical base at Weston Park Cancer Hospital that will link with state-of-the-art laboratories at Sheffield University.

It will take a leading national and international role in investigating different types of cancer, with a particular focus on breast and lung cancers and the spread of cancers to the bones.

Cancer Research UK will see its annual contribution to research in the city increase to more than £2m and YCR will boost its funding to more than £1.5m.

Professor Rob Coleman, who will head the new centre, said it was hoped it would bring developments more quickly to patients. Already more than 1,000 people in the city take part each year in clinical trials in the field which was moving forward “very rapidly”.

“The new centre will help build on Sheffield’s world-class research and bring together a variety of researchers and clinicians to work together to improve the lives of cancer patients across South Yorkshire and beyond,” he said. “By building closer links between scientists and doctors we want to increase the pace of research, leading to improved treatments for 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.”

Carole Ogle, acting YCR chief executive, said: “This new centre offers fantastic collaborative opportunities for researchers and clinicians to work together to strengthen treatments for cancer patients within the region.”