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Cymraeg

Local businessman boosts Cardiff cancer research

27 March 2008

A pioneering initiative has been launched to bring the most talented Chinese medical scholars to Wales for research into breast and prostate cancers.

Cardiff University - one of the top research universities in the UK and ranked in the top 100 in the world - has joined forced with universities in China in researching the cause and cure of the killer diseases.

Cardiff University, led by Professor Wen G Jiang, in collaboration with Professor Howard Kynaston in the University Hospital of Wales, has initiated a Chinese Medical Scholarship, in order to attract the most talented Chinese medical scholars.

The initiative has been made possible by financial contributions from South Wales businessman Nick Williams - himself a prostate cancer survivor - and the Fong Foundation of Hong Kong.

Mr Williams, owner of The Maltings, a records management and offices centre in East Tyndell Street, Cardiff, said: "This is a fantastic example of international collaboration to help underpin the international-class research being undertaken in Cardiff.

"China is providing some of the finest young medical scholars in the world and I am delighted to be able to support an ongoing initiative to fund their placements in Wales.

"As a survivor of prostate cancer, this is clearly a subject of great importance to me and I would like to pay particular tribute to the world-class treatment being delivered by Professor Kynaston and his team."

The first student to arrive at the Cardiff University School of Medicine is Dr Jin Li, who is involved in a PhD research project in order to find out how a group of molecules control the spread of prostate and breast cancer cells into bone.

Also known as bone metastasis, this is a detrimental condition most frequently associated with patients who suffer from prostate cancer and breast cancer.

The project is to be conducted at the Cardiff School of Medicine which has an international reputation in its cancer research.

Dr Li is located in the School’s Metastasis and Angiogenesis Research Group led by Professor Jiang, who has a long-standing interest in research into both breast and prostate cancer.

Professor Kynaston said: "Metastasis is the single largest cause of death in patients with solid tumours. One of the characteristic features of cancer metastasis is bone metastasis from prostate and breast cancers.

"Approximately 70 per cent of the patients with advanced breast and prostate cancer will have bone metastasis.

"Collectively, breast, prostate and lung cancer contribute to over 80 per cent of the bone metastasis. The options for treating bone metastasis are limited. Research and development in this area would bring benefits to the patients."

The Fong Foundation was established by Dr Fong Yun-wah, a leading entrepreneur and member of the business community in Hong Kong. Dr Fong annually sets aside a portion of his business profits to support education, social welfare, and charity work. He has contributed significantly towards promoting academic exchange between mainland China, Hong Kong and Western universities, and is an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University.

Ends

Notes to Editors:

Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. It is also ranked as one of the world’s top 100 universities by the Times Higher Education (THE).

2008 marks the 125th anniversary of Cardiff University having been founded by Royal Charter in 1883.

Today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s leading research universities.

Visit the University website at: www.cardiff.ac.uk

Cardiff School of Medicine

Cardiff University’s School of Medicine is a significant contributor to healthcare in Wales, a major provider of professional staff for the National Health Service and an international centre of excellence for research delivering substantial health benefits locally and internationally. The school’s 800 staff include 500 research and academic staff who teach more than 2,000 students, including 1,110 postgraduate students. The School is an international leader in basic and clinically applied research activities. School of Medicine researchers annually win tens of millions of pounds in research awards to work with Government, the healthcare industries and the charitable sector on the most pressing issues of human health. The School has six interdisciplinary research groups to draw upon its own strength in depth and the vast range of expertise available across Cardiff University. These groups are addressing cancer; health sciences research; cardiovascular sciences; genomic approaches to health and disease; infection, immunity and inflammation; metabolism repair and regeneration.

Contact details:

• Professor Wen G Jiang, University Department of Surgery, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, Tel: 029 2074 2895 / 2896, Fax: 44 29 2076 1623, email: jiangw@cf.ac.uk, URL: www.uwcm.ac.uk/mrg

• Professor Howard Kynaston, Department of Surgery, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XW, Tel 029 20745094/ 8165, Fax 029 20742638, Email: Howard.Kynaston@CardiffAndVale.wales.nhs.uk

• Mr Nick Williams: via Clare Wernham, PA to Chairman, Resource Ltd, Wentloog Corporate Park, Cardiff, Tel 029 20 360 360

• Stephen Rouse, Public Relations Office, Cardiff University, 029 2087 5596, e-mail RouseS@cardiff.ac.uk