There may be a frisson of excitement today among cancer scientists, nurses and doctors in Birmingham, as the city has been chosen to be the location of the first of a series of major cancer centres across the UK.
But this isn’t a big new building or hospital wing. Instead this is a ‘virtual’ cancer centre, bringing together researchers and resources in a unique way.
The Centre works by fostering links between Cancer Research UK-funded scientists, researchers at the University of Birmingham and staff in local NHS services. We’ll be providing vital funding for research, and helping to make sure that the Centre stays focused on improving lives and extending survival for cancer patients.
It’s all part of the charity’s new 5-year research strategy, aiming to develop centres of excellence across the UK, push new discoveries into the clinic faster than ever before, and forge links between local people and the research in their area. We plan to launch up to twenty centres across the UK, each with its own special focus and guided by a detailed strategy.
Led by Professor Paul Moss, the Cancer Research UK Centre in Birmingham will be building on local scientists’ already excellent reputation for research into cancer genes, gene therapy, and the links between viruses and certain cancers.
The new Centre is also going to be a beacon for clinical trials, as well as building bridges between scientists studying cancer biology in the lab and doctors treating patients in the clinic, aiming to get new treatments to patients faster. And it will provide a focus for training the next generation of cancer doctors and researchers.
We’ll be launching further Centres across the UK over the coming year, so watch this space. It’s an exciting time for cancer research in the UK, and – thanks to the generosity of our supporters - we are proud to be at the forefront.
Click on the player below to listen to Professor Paul Moss talking about the Birmingham Centre: