North Plays Part in Pounds 50m Cancer Fight; Universities to Lead Research

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Byline: Dan Thomson

NORTH scientists will receive more than pounds 2m to develop pioneering cancer imaging technology, it was announced today.

Over the next five years, Newcastle and Durham Universities will work together in a pounds 50m nationwide initiative to establish the UK as a world leader in cancer imaging research.

The technology, which will be developed in the North East at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research at Newcastle University, has a number of uses in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer, such as allowing doctors to see drugs working within the patient.

It can also be used to track the spread of cancer and watch cells in action by tracing radioactive markers in the body. It is hoped the imaging research will lead to scientists being able to quickly identify the treatments that work best for individual patients.

Dr Ross Maxwell, of the Northern Institute for Cancer Research, is the lead scientist in the joint Newcastle University and Durham University research programme.

He said: "We're delighted to have been awarded this grant to further our research in cancer imaging. Investing in this important area is vital for improving many aspects of a cancer patient's journey - from detection to treatment.

"We will use the new funding to help us develop new cancer drugs in parallel with new scanning methods to track the way they work in the body.

"A team of doctors, nurses, and scientists will work together developing the new imaging techniques.

"They will help us to identify which patients would be suitable for new drugs being developed at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research and then allow us to see if these drugs are working as they should within the patient. …