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Cancer Research UK announces new £14m research hub in London

Published on 18/09/18 at 11:23am

Cancer Research UK has announced a £14 million investment to build a new hub in London for cancer research and treatment to create “a global centre for biotherapeutics, a pioneering field of cancer research”.

The new Cancer Research UK City of London Centre will bring together specialists in imaging, clinical trials and tumour evolution from a range of institutions including UCL, King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London and the Francis Crick Institute. The partnership is the first of its kind and will offer the latest cancer interventions to the approximately 14 million people covered by the NHS trusts within UCL Partners and Kings Health Partners.

Research conducted at the centre will cross all cancer variants, with a special focus on the condition in children.

“There have already been huge advances in biotherapeutics, many led from our centre and there’s enormous potential to transform how we approach the hardest to treat cancers like brain tumours and lung cancer,” said Professor Tariq Enver, Centre Lead at UCL. “Our ambition is for the centre to stimulate further economic activity in biotechnology in London as new companies are formed and industry partners move in to translate the most promising discoveries into marketable therapies. London’s hospitals will also become flagship centres for treating patients with these new biological therapies, setting the standard for healthcare providers all over the world.”

Cancer Research UK’s Chief Clinician, Professor Charles Swanton, added: “We believe that, in the future, the biotherapeutics field will transform cancer care. However, there are several research challenges still to tackle. We need to understand why some patients respond to these new treatments while others don’t, and how to identify which patients might experience harmful side effects. Most importantly, we need to optimise their activity to offer more patients access to these therapies who may benefit.

“We now know more about the genetic diversity within tumours, how they evolve, and the body’s immune response to cancer, than ever before,” he added. “There’s a huge opportunity to use this knowledge to develop novel biological therapies that combat tumour evolution and to inform how best to use them in combination with other cancer treatments.”

Matt Fellows

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