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Manchester team picks up Cancer Research UK prize

07 Nov 2011

A team of researchers from Manchester was yesterday awarded the 2011 Cancer Research UK Prize for Translational Cancer Research at the NCRI Cancer Conference in Liverpool.

The Manchester team received their award yesterday at the NCRI Cancer Conference
The Manchester team received their award yesterday at the NCRI Cancer Conference

The prize recognises the work of researchers at the Cancer Research UK Paterson Institute, The University of Manchester, Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and AstraZeneca, who together have contributed to transforming the field of biomarker research and early clinical trials.

The team, led by Professor Caroline Dive and comprising Professor Malcolm Ransom, Dr Fiona Blackhall and Professor Andrew Hughes, have had many successes in using biomarkers – substances that can be measured to determine several factors such as how well a patient is responding to a treatment – to enhance clinical trials. Their biomarker portfolio has been used in over 70 clinical trials since 2004.

The team’s accomplishments in translational research in lung cancer are an example of the many achievements that were recognised by the panel. They have discovered that circulating tumour cells in lung cancer can be used to predict response to treatment.

Professor Dive said: “We’re honoured to receive the Cancer Research UK Translational Cancer Research Prize. Our collaborations have meant that we’ve been able to make advances that would have been impossible otherwise. Biomarkers have great potential in many areas, and we have championed their use in clinical trials because this can greatly enhance the impact of the trial – for example we are better able to monitor how well a patient is responding to treatment.”

Dr Harpal Kumar, Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, said: “The team in Manchester fully deserves the recognition of the Cancer Research UK Translational Cancer Research Prize. They’re an excellent example of how team work is essential for translational research, bringing together different backgrounds and expertise to answer some of the biggest questions in cancer.”

Ends

Notes for editors

About the NCRI Cancer Conference

The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference is the UK’s major forum for showcasing the best British and international cancer research. The Conference offers unique opportunities for networking and sharing knowledge by bringing together world leading experts from all cancer research disciplines. The seventh annual NCRI Cancer Conference is taking place from the 6-9 November 2011 at the BT Convention Centre in Liverpool. For more information visit www.ncri.org.uk/ncriconference

About the NCRI

The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) was established in April 2001. It is a UK-wide partnership between the government, charity and industry which promotes co-operation in cancer research among the 22 member organisations for the benefit of patients, the public and the scientific community. For more information visit www.ncri.org.uk

NCRI members are: the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI); Association for International Cancer Research; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; Breakthrough Breast Cancer; Breast Cancer Campaign; Cancer Research UK; CHILDREN with CANCER UK, Department of Health; Economic and Social Research Council; Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research; Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research; Macmillan Cancer Support; Marie Curie Cancer Care; Medical Research Council; Northern Ireland Health and Social Care (Research & Development Office); Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation; Scottish Government Health Directorates (Chief Scientist Office); Tenovus; The Prostate Cancer Charity; Welsh Government (National Institute for Social Care and Health Research); The Wellcome Trust; and Yorkshire Cancer Research.

About Cancer Research UK

  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research
  • The charity’s groundbreaking work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.  This work is funded entirely by the public.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates double in the last forty years.
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to beat cancer.

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 7121 6699 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org

Media enquiries to:

Simon Shears
Press Office
Cancer Research UK

Tel: 020 3469 8054

Or Aeron Haworth
Media Relations
Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences
The University of Manchester

Tel: 0161 275 8383
Mob: 07717 881563
Email: aeron.haworth@manchester.ac.uk