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Cancer research gets £43m funding boost

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Thousands of cancer patients will have greater access to clinical trials for personalised therapies following a £43m funding injection.

Researchers at 29 experimental cancer medicine centres (ECMCs) will use the funding to trial new treatments for children and adults over the next five years.

The centres will also assess the efficacy of personalised treatments by analysing the genetic makeup of patients’ tumours, trialling treatments that target specific mutations.

Dr Iain Foulkes, Executive director of research and innovation at Cancer Research UK , said:

“We are proud to be supporting an expansion of our successful ECMC network, bringing together vast medical and scientific expertise to translate the latest scientific discoveries from the lab into the clinic.

“The ECMC network is delivering the cancer treatments of the future, bringing new hope to people affected by cancer.

“The trials taking place today will give the next generation the best possible chance of beating cancer.”

Potential treatments in line for trials include checkpoint inhibitors which help the immune system to attack tumours, and mTOR inhibitors such as vistusertib.

Minister of State for Health Helen Whately said:

“A cancer diagnosis can be devastating but the earlier the diagnosis, the better the chance to treat it and beat it.

“We are already picking up more cancers early by screening but we can do even better.

“This partnership between Cancer Research UK, the National Institute for Health and Care Research and the Little Princess Trust will fund innovative trials that could lead to new life-saving treatments.

“Every life lost to cancer is devastating and I’m pleased that across the country, people will be given renewed hope – especially children and young people – that we can beat this awful disease.”

A further £2.2 million will help to expand research at 12 paediatric ECMCs across the UK.

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