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National conference debates cancer research and care in Wales.

30 April 2008

Cancer cells

The academic cancer research community from across the University, Wales and the UK, is taking part in a two-day national research conference aimed at promoting world-leading cancer work conducted in Wales and beyond.

Organised by the Wales Cancer Institute in collaboration with the Wales Cancer Alliance, the conference sees leading academics and clinicians from the Schools of Medicine, Biosciences and Pharmacy along with the, North Wales Clinical School, the Institute of Medical Genetics and Swansea University come together to debate and develop research and policy in cancer, in particular in the areas of haematology and colorectal cancer.

Dame Deirdre Hine, Chair, Partners Forum, Wales Cancer Institute, said: "This Conference will further our aim of recognising and supporting excellence in cancer research in Wales. In bringing together this vast cancer community we will ensure we continue to translate the quality and quantity of research being conducted in laboratories and clinical trials into new cancer drugs and treatments for patients more quickly and more effectively.

"We are already well placed to achieve a strong collaborative position in cancer research nationally and internationally and this conference is a good opportunity to showcase and network in pursuit of this position, cementing our relationship with the Wales Cancer Alliance for the good of cancer patients in Wales."

The event also brings together other areas of the cancer community in Wales – including doctors, nurses, politicians, patients and cancer charities. Cancer conference audience

Taking place at Cardiff’s City Hall, issues relating to policy-making, resources and services for people affected by cancer in Wales are to be highlighted. Among the keynote speeches and discussions will be a debate about cancer funding, co-chaired by Professor Malcolm Mason, Head of Oncology at the School of Medicine, and featuring Dr Fergus Macbeth, Consultant Oncologist, Velindre Hospital and Director, National Collaborating Centre for Cancer. Subjects ranging from human cancer, living with cancer, cancer in primary care, clinical trials and cancer policy in Wales are also being examined.

A Cancer policy for Wales will also be the subject of another major debate during the conference. Chaired by BBC Wales health correspondent Hywel Griffith, leading politicians from across the political spectrum will speak about issues affecting the cancer community in Wales.

Other high-profile speakers include Dr Dennis Slamon, Director, Clinical/Translational Research, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Centre, UCLA, Chairman of National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, Sir Michael Rawlings, and Dr Andy Futreall, Co-Director of the Cancer Genome Project at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

The Wales Cancer Institute was established in January 2005. It is a central partnership of collaborative research groups to increase the quantity and quality of cancer research in Wales, translating work done in the laboratories and clinical trials into new cancer drugs and new treatments. The virtual institute brings together researchers, charities, clinicians, universities and government organisations from all over the principality, working together to enable researchers and clinicians to work on new drugs and turn this work into new treatments for patients around Wales.

The Wales Cancer Alliance is a coalition of charities working in Wales. Alliance members include Cancer Research UK, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Breast Cancer Care Cymru, Macmillan Cancer Support, Cancer Care Cymru, Cancer Research Wales and Tenovus.