£8m cash boost for Edinburgh cancer scientists

Professor Margaret Frame. Picture: Cancer Research UK

Professor Margaret Frame. Picture: Cancer Research UK

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CANCER scientists in the Capital are set for a cash boost of £8 million.

The investment comes from Cancer Research UK and will be spent over a five-year period on groundbreaking work at their Edinburgh centre.

It will allow the charity to train up the next generation of scientists, with the funds covering costs for 15 PhD students.

The early Christmas present comes after the charity also spent £5m last year on a range of research projects in Edinburgh.

Professor David Cameron, clinical director of the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre, at the Western General Hospital, said: “This funding will give our researchers in Edinburgh the resources needed to take new discoveries from the laboratory right through to patients.

“Working together to test new ideas and treatments, our cancer scientists and doctors hope to be able to help more people survive cancer in the future.”

Alongside bowel, breast and ovarian cancer, a particular focus of the Edinburgh centre team is brain tumour research.

Scientists have been taking samples from patients’ tumours during surgery and then growing the cells in the lab to study the faulty molecules which underpin the disease.

It is hoped this will help them discover better ways to treat and diagnose brain tumours, which still have poor survival rates.

Professor Margaret Frame, scientific director at the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre, said: “From research into how brain tumours develop and grow, to identifying genetic and environmental markers that could help diagnose bowel cancer sooner, Edinburgh is home to world class cancer research.

“This award represents a critical investment in the research infrastructure at Edinburgh, equipping us with the key laboratory and clinical tools needed to advance the understanding and treatment of cancer for the benefit of people in Scotland and beyond.”

The Edinburgh centre is a partnership between Cancer Research UK, Edinburgh University and NHS Lothian.

It was chosen by an international panel of experts as one of just 13 locations to secure funding in the latest review of the Cancer Research UK Centre’s network of excellence.

Victoria Steven, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Scotland, said: “This award is recognition of the fantastic research taking place in Edinburgh. One in two of us will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lives so it’s reassuring to know that, thanks to our supporters, Cancer Research UK is able to fund some of the best and most promising research here in Edinburgh.”

florence.snead@jpress.co.uk