Sheffield launches new cancer research centre

Cancer Research UK and Yorkshire Cancer Research came together for the first time today (Tuesday 25 October 2011) to fund a new cancer research centre in Sheffield.

The Sheffield Cancer Research Centre becomes the latest link in a unique chain of Cancer Research UK Centres that have been launched across the UK.

These Cancer Centres draw together world class research and medical expertise to provide the best possible results for cancer patients nationwide. Cancer Research UK, the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Yorkshire Cancer Research (YCR) are all partners in this new Centre.

Interview with Professor Peter Johnson, Chief Clinician at Cancer Research UK and Professor Robert Coleman, YCR Professor of Medical Oncology based at Weston Park Cancer Hospital and the University of Sheffield.

This latest Centre will be have its clinical base at Weston Park Cancer Hospital – one of only three dedicated cancer hospitals in the country, and link with laboratory facilities both within the Medical School and across the University of Sheffield. It will help set the pace for national and international progress in many different types of cancer, with particular interest in breast and lung cancers and a strong focus on the spread of cancers to the bones.

The Centre will foster strong links with the local community, increasing awareness of the world-class cancer research taking place right on their doorstep.

Scientists at the Centre will also be investigating the fundamental biology of cancer - understanding how the disease starts and how it grows and spreads. Researchers will also study how cancers interact with the cells and tissues that surround them, and how they grow a blood supply. By understanding this 'tumour micro-environment', researchers are developing exciting new approaches for treating cancer.

Collaboration is the key to the success of the Centre, which will enable researchers who do not normally work together to exchange ideas and information more easily. The Centre will also help train the next generation of cancer researchers through studentships and fellowships, continuing Sheffield's strong tradition of training and development.

Local businessman, Dave Wickett, 64, of Fulwood, is receiving ongoing treatment for cancer and is particularly delighted with news of the Centre.

In January last year, the owner of Kelham Island Brewery was diagnosed with myeloma, a type of cancer that develops from plasma cells found in bone marrow. After chemotherapy treatment, he was in remission but the cancer returned in February this year with a tumour on his spine, leaving him in a wheelchair for life.

Dave said: "It's great that the level of expertise, knowledge and collaboration in Sheffield has been recognised in this way and it really highlights the importance of research in our city for which I am bursting with pride. The Centre will help the fantastic doctors and researchers put into practice what they are learning which will help cancer patients across South Yorkshire in the future.

"Everyone wants to see cancer cured and I am sure Sheffield people will also be proud to know that the city is at the forefront of the work helping to make this happen."

Head of the new Centre, Professor Rob Coleman, YCR Professor of Medical Oncology based at Weston Park Cancer Hospital and the University of Sheffield, said: "This is an exciting development for cancer research in the Sheffield area. The new Centre will help build on Sheffield's world class research and bring together a variety of researchers and clinicians to work together to improve the lives of cancer patients across South Yorkshire and beyond. By building closer links between scientists and doctors we want to increase the pace of research, leading to improved treatments for patients."

Cancer Research UK and Yorkshire Cancer Research already support research in Sheffield, but Cancer Research UK is set to increase its contribution to over £2m a year to help develop the Centre. Yorkshire Cancer Research will increase its investment in Sheffield to over £1.5million per year.

Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: "Huge progress has been made in beating cancer since the charity was formed and we're determined to carry on. Funding these centres of excellence is one of the charity's priorities and will enable us to work towards the goals we have set to improve the treatment and survival of cancer patients. But we continue to welcome the generous donations we receive from the public to ensure we can continue to build on what we have started today."

Carole Ogle, acting chief executive, Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: "This new Centre offers fantastic collaborative opportunities for researchers and clinicians to work together to strengthen treatments for cancer patients, within the region. It is thanks to the continued generosity of our Yorkshire supporters which has enabled us to increase our spend within South Yorkshire and provide funding for this Cancer Centre."

Notes for Editors:
Cancer Research UK Centres aim to establish a nationwide network of excellence that will provide the best possible outcomes for patients by linking research activity with patient care and public engagement. Each Centre will focus on specific areas of research and aim to raise standards of care and forge links with local communities.

About Cancer Research UK

*Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to beat cancer.
*Cancer Research UK carries out world-class research to improve understanding of the disease and find out how to prevent, diagnose and treat different kinds of cancer.
*Cancer Research UK ensures that its findings are used to improve the lives of all cancer patients.
* Cancer Research UK helps people to understand cancer, the progress that is being made and the choices each person can make.
*Cancer Research UK works in partnership with others to achieve the greatest impact in the global fight against cancer.

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 7009 8820 or visit Cancer Research UK

About Yorkshire Cancer Research

*Yorkshire Cancer Research (YCR) is the only cancer charity whose main aim is to help Yorkshire people beat cancer.
*Yorkshire Cancer Research aims to be Yorkshire's cancer charity. Every penny raised is spent in Yorkshire, helping local people beat cancer and supporting world-class research, diagnosis and treatment in our region.
*Yorkshire Cancer Research works throughout Yorkshire and benefits Yorkshire people, in addition to sharing its findings and working in partnership with others to improve the lives of people worldwide.
*Yorkshire Cancer Research develops new scientific knowledge that will saves lives through earlier diagnosis, prevention and better treatment of cancer.
*Yorkshire Cancer Research is one of the most cost efficient cancer research charities in the UK.

For further information about Yorkshire Cancer Research and how you can support us please visit Yorkshire Cancer Research or call 01423 877210

About the University of Sheffield

The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health at the University of Sheffield is one of the major UK centres for education and research in health and related subjects. With origins dating back to 1828, the faculty has a long-standing tradition of excellence in clinical education and research.

The Faculty is committed to excellence in learning, teaching and the student experience; internationally leading research and its translation into practice; regional and global impact on human health and patient care.

To find out more about the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health at the University of Sheffield visit: Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health

About Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is the UK's largest NHS Foundation Trust and one one of the largest and busiest teaching hospital trusts. It cares for over a million patients each year across five hospitals and a variety of community venues around the city:

* The Royal Hallamshire Hospital
* The Northern General Hospital
* Charles Clifford Dental Hospital
* Weston Park Cancer Hospital
* Jessop Wing Maternity Hospital

It offers a full range of local hospital and community services for people in Sheffield as well as specialist services to patients from further afield. The Trust is recognised internationally for its work in neurosciences, spinal injuries, cancer, transplantation, neurosciences and orthopaedics. It is one of only a handful of hospital Trusts to have been awarded the highest rating of 'excellent' for both the quality of services and financial management, three years running.