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£1.9 million for cancer diagnosis research

26 October 2009

cancer cells

Researchers in the Department of Primary Care & Public Health are to share a grant of £1.94M to improve diagnosis of cancers.

The grant from the National Institute for Health Research has been given to a wide-ranging research programme that aims to improve cancer diagnosis. The programme, entitled DISCOVERY (DIagnosis of Symptomatic Cancer), will be led by the University of Bristol, with four University partners – Cardiff, Durham, Cambridge and Oxford - and NHS Bristol.

The programme aims to improve cancer diagnosis through six interlinked projects. It will consider the issue from the patients’ aspect (why they do or do not attend surgery with a symptom) and the GPs’ aspect (what is the risk of cancer when a symptom is mentioned?), and will examine what is the optimum method of organising investigations for suspected cancer.

It will also look at wider systemic questions such as what are current referral patterns; what level of risk needs rapid investigation, and how can the system be improved, both from an economic and a societal perspective?

Dr Richard Neal from the Department of Primary Care & Public Health, which is based in the School of Medicine, said: 'This is the first programme grant in the area of early diagnosis of cancer, and it is very exciting as findings from the studies will directly impact upon clinical practice and health policy."

Dr Willie Hamilton of Bristol’s Department of Community Based Medicine, said: "We are delighted to have receive this grant as it builds on the strengths of all the partner universities. It is very rewarding to work in the field of cancer diagnosis as the patient benefits of such research are so immediately tangible."

The project begins in January 2010 and will run for five years.

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