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Cancer Centre launched

22 October 2009

Biosciences PhD student Emma Davies explains her work to one of the launch guests, Mrs Lavina StaffBiosciences PhD student Emma Davies explains her work to one of the launch guests, Mrs Lavina Staff

Cardiff has been officially launched as home of one of a chain of Cancer Research UK Centres.

Some 200 guests were at the University for the launch of the Cardiff Cancer Research UK Centre which will draw together world class research and medical expertise to provide the best possible results for cancer patients. They were also given tours which showcased leading University research in this field.

University researchers and partners at Velindre NHS Trust, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff University and Cancer Research UK aim to make the Centre a world leader in developing treatments tailored to individual cancer patients. The approach is based on understanding the biology of the disease and how that varies among patients.

Speakers at the launch included the Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University, Dr David Grant and the Centre’s new Director and Deputy Director, respectively Professor Alan Clarke, School of Biosciences and Professor Tim Maughan, School of Medicine. Also speaking were Mr Harpal Kumar, Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK; Mrs Ruth Walker, Executive Nurse Director of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board; and Mr Alun Lloyd, Acting Chief Executive of Velindre NHS Trust.

Mr Kumar 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."

The Centre will focus on the biology and treatment of bowel, breast and urological cancers and leukaemia, and will work on how to make sure cancer is detected earlier.

Working with WORD – the Welsh Office of Research and Development in health and social care – researchers at the Centre will also focus on better understanding how to prevent cancer. It will draw on the expertise of basic scientists, translational scientists, clinicians and research nurses.

Cancer Research UK already supports research in Cardiff but is increasing its contribution by spending an extra £2M over three years.

In partnership with the University, the Centre also aims to maintain excellence in training clinical and non-clinical postgraduates by expanding the existing four year PhD programme.

The launch follows on from the University’s other successes in winning funding for major new diseases research centres. The Arthritis Research Campaign Biomechanics and Bioengineering Centre and the Medical Research Council for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics have both been launched at Cardiff this year.