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York University Gets £187,000 to Research Prostate Cancer


8:00am 24th February 2013

Researchers from Yorkshire universities have been given grants totalling £237,000 grant to drive forward the search for answers to key questions surrounding prostate cancer. They have been awarded two of 17 Prostate Cancer UK grants as part of the first wave of funding through the charity’s ambitious new research strategy.

As part of its MANifesto Prostate Cancer UK has pledged to find answers to some the most important research challenges facing the disease today. The charity is injecting a colossal £11 million into research this year alone to focus on the key areas of understanding risk, improving diagnosis of the disease and improving treatment options for men living with it.

Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Due to a long legacy of underfunding and neglect we still know shockingly little about why prostate cancer kills 10,000 men every year. Prostate Cancer UK has vowed to scale up its mission to deliver so much more and so much better for men. By funding ground breaking projects such as these with the UK’s top research scientists we hope to be able to find the answers we so desperately need for the future.”

“Thanks to the support of the Movember Foundation, Prostate Cancer UK has recently tripled its research spend to up to £25million over the next three years. While this provides a fantastic launch pad, we desperately need more money to crack this disease once and for all. Through our recently launched Sledgehammer Fund we are calling on everyone across the country to get behind men and help us in this mission. Together we can, and will, beat prostate cancer.”

Dr Anne Collins, from the YCR Cancer Research Unit at the University of York, has received £187,000 to discover more about why prostate cancer eventually becomes resistant to current treatments. Dr Collins said “'With this generous grant from Prostate Cancer UK we hope to determine whether the cells that cause prostate cancer are identical to those which are responsible for resistance to current therapies.  This will help us develop new treatments which directly target these cells so that we can treat the disease more effectively.”

Professor Tim Skerry from the School of Medicine, University of Sheffield, has received £50,000 to explore whether affecting the way prostate tumour cells communicate with each other can help stop the spread of the disease. Professor Skerry explains: “We know that communication between cancer cells is essential for prostate tumours to survive and grow. We hope that through exploring how to block these signals, we can eventually lead to the development of   treatments which can slow down the growth and spread of the cancer and therefore have dramatic benefits in the prevention of the development of advanced disease.”

The grants were awarded via a competitive process, and were subject to detailed assessment from external peer reviewers and the Prostate Cancer UK Research Advisory Committee.  All 17 of the projects which are to receive funding were chosen because of their extremely high quality and relevance to men with prostate cancer.


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