Research and Trials Vital to Find Ways to Beat Disease; Wales Is Home to a Wide Range of Research Teams Who Are Looking into Different Aspects of Cancer. Dr Gareth Griffiths, Director of the Wales Cancer Trials Unit, Looks at the Work Being Done in the Fight against the Disease

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), December 11, 2013 | Go to article overview

Research and Trials Vital to Find Ways to Beat Disease; Wales Is Home to a Wide Range of Research Teams Who Are Looking into Different Aspects of Cancer. Dr Gareth Griffiths, Director of the Wales Cancer Trials Unit, Looks at the Work Being Done in the Fight against the Disease


In Wales 18,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year. That's about 50 patients a day. Although the cancer death rates in Wales have fallen by a sixth (16%) over the last 30 years, there is still a lot of work to do to beat this disease.

It is vital that research is undertaken, both in the laboratory and in the NHS cancer clinics of Wales, for us to find the ways to prevent, diagnose early and treat cancer so that one day we can say we have beaten it.

Wales is playing its part in the fight against cancer. Here are some of the research groups and projects that are currently being funded by Cancer Research UK (CR UK) in Wales with the aim of bringing forward the day that we find a cure for cancer.

THE CANCER RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE AND RESEARCH OF WALES Cancer Research UK (CR UK) spent more than PS4m in Wales last year on some of the UK's leading scientific and clinical research and fund some vital parts of the Welsh research infrastructure that allows us to undertake cutting edge research. This includes the CR UK Cardiff Centre and the Wales Cancer Trials Unit, the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, the Stratified Medicine Programme and the NISCHR Clinical Research Centre.

CR UK CARDIFF CENTRE The CR UK Cardiff Cancer Research Centre is one of 15 CR UK centres across the UK and is a partnership between Cardiff University, Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust, Velindre Cancer Centre and CR UK. The aim of the centre is to facilitate the collaborative networking of leading scientists, doctors and nurses from across the city and beyond. The centre enables researchers from different areas to come together with the common aim to take research from the bench (the laboratory based researcher looking down a microscope at cancer cells) to the bedside (using a new treatment as routine treatment for all new cancer patients in Wales).

STRATIFIED MEDICINE PROGRAMME CR UK's Stratified Medicine Programme (SMP) is a significant step in making targeted treatments available for people with cancer in Wales and the rest of the UK. Working with groups such as the Wales Cancer Bank, the SMP aims to establish the foundations for a national service that will collect and genetically analyse tumours from cancer patients in Wales being treated in the NHS. This will enable doctors in Wales to understand the individual genetic makeup and characteristics of their patients' cancer which will help determine which is the best treatment for them as an individual. This will also allow research into treatments that target specific cancer patients who may be more likely to benefit due to their genetic makeup.

EXPERIMENTAL CANCER MEDICINE CENTRE Cardiff's Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) is jointly funded by Cancer Research UK and the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research (NISCHR, which is part of the Welsh Government), and is part of a network of 18 centres across the UK. It has the remit to develop biomarkers, novel therapeutic approaches to cancer treatment and expand tissue banking.

WALES CANCER TRIALS UNIT The Wales Cancer Trials Unit (WCTU) is a CR UK core funded clinical trials unit based in Cardiff University whose remit is to work with cancer researchers from across Wales to develop clinical trials in cancer. A clinical trial is research involving cancer patients themselves where there is usually a comparison of the routine treatment given to patients in the NHS against a new treatment that has been shown to be of benefit to patients in earlier research. It is creating the evidence for change in the routine treatment for the better. WCTU works closely with hospitals in Wales who recruit patients. …

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Research and Trials Vital to Find Ways to Beat Disease; Wales Is Home to a Wide Range of Research Teams Who Are Looking into Different Aspects of Cancer. Dr Gareth Griffiths, Director of the Wales Cancer Trials Unit, Looks at the Work Being Done in the Fight against the Disease
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