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UK’s first institute dedicated to early cancer research opens in Cambridge

A new institute opening at the University of Cambridge aims to conduct research that will detect cancer early enough to cure it.

he Early Cancer Institute (ECI) is the UK’s premier physics institute dedicated to understanding early-stage cancer.

It will host up to 120 researchers who will focus on types of cancer that are difficult to treat and therefore have very poor outcomes.

Outcomes can change completely if the cancer is diagnosed early enough and we have the right treatmentsProfessor Rebecca Fitzgerald, Early Cancer Institute

These include lung, pancreatic, esophageal and liver cancer – and acute myeloid leukemia.

Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald, Director of the Institute, said: “People have shied away from research into early-stage cancer, but if we don’t do this work we will not improve survival rates for the majority of our patients, as most patients are still be diagnosed late.

“Outcomes can change completely if the cancer is diagnosed early enough and we have the right treatments.”

She added: “Cambridge has a long history of major advances in cancer research, from developing the technology that allows us to sequence the DNA of tumors to pioneering new treatments, such as the use of monoclonal antibodies and Parp Inhibitor Drugs.

“We want to build on this legacy of discovery and innovation and apply it to early-stage cancer.”

Among the researchers will be Professor Serena Nik-Zainal, who will use whole genome sequencing to look for ‘fingerprints’ on the DNA of tumors that provide clues as to how a cancer developed.

while dr Matt Hoare will try to find out why genetic mutations in chronic liver disease significantly increase the risk of primary liver cancer.

The Institute is based in the Hutchinson Building on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, close to partners such as Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, the Wellcome-MRC Stem Cell Institute and the newly opened Heart and Lung Research Institute, three hospitals and the major ones Pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and GSK.

According to Prof Fitzgerald, this is one of only four life science ecosystems in the world – and the largest in Europe – that offers the capability, critical mass and integration of science and medicine to transform patient care.

A new hospital is also planned on the campus – the Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital, which could start construction late next year.

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/uks-first-institute-dedicated-to-early-cancer-research-opens-in-cambridge-42005528.html UK’s first institute dedicated to early cancer research opens in Cambridge

Linh

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