The development of new cancer treatments in Scotland is to receive major funding, providing future hope for people diagnosed with the disease.
Glasgow’s Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) and the Paediatric ECMC in the city will receive up to £2,286,575 to help doctors and scientists develop the cancer treatments of the future for both adults and children.
The funding is part of £4m promised to two Scottish cancer research centres and has been made possible by a partnership between Cancer Research UK, the Scottish Government, with the Little Princess Trust providing funding specifically for children’s cancers.
The Glasgow ECMC is a partnership between the University of Glasgow, the CRUK Beatson Institute, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre. The Glasgow ECMC develops and delivers clinical trails using experimental treatments to help advance cancer care and ultimately benefit patients.
Glasgow is part of a network of 17 ECMCs across the UK, including one in Edinburgh, all funded by Cancer Research UK to deliver clinical trials of new experimental treatments in patients. Since 2007, when the network was first established, around 30,000 patients have taken part in 2,100 clinical trials.
This new funding will allow new, experimental treatments, including immunotherapies and cell therapies to be developed, for a wide variety of cancers especially those that particularly affect the Scottish population. It will also improve existing treatments, especially through targeting therapies more precisely to the patient’s tumour, supporting trials across a wide range of treatments from innovative drug therapies to the latest advances in radiotherapy treatment.
ECMCs work in conjunction with local NHS facilities to provide access to cutting-edge trials and treatments to help find new ways to detect, monitor and treat the disease to help beat cancer sooner.
The University of Glasgow’s Professor Jeff Evans, the Glasgow ECMC Lead, said: “On behalf of the Glasgow team, I am delighted that we have secured this funding which will allow our patients to have access to clinical trials of the very latest developments in new, experimental treatments for cancer.
“This funding is essential to support our ambitions to provide access to trials of experimental therapies for patients in the West of Scotland and beyond, in collaboration with our colleagues in Edinburgh, so that we provide equal access to trials for patients wherever they live in Scotland.
“Thousands of patients have kindly participated in these trials through the Glasgow and Edinburgh ECMCs and this funding, in partnership with other Cancer Centres in Scotland and throughout the UK, will benefit people with cancer in Scotland and beyond.”
Executive Director of Research and Innovation at Cancer Research UK, Dr Iain Foulkes, said: “We are proud to be supporting our successful ECMC network, bringing together vast medical and scientific expertise to translate the latest scientific discoveries from the lab into the clinic.
“The ECMC network is delivering the cancer treatments of the future, bringing new hope to people affected by cancer. The trials taking place today will give the next generation the best possible chance of beating cancer.
“The adult and paediatric ECMC networks will offer clinical trials for many different types of cancer. Researchers will be working to find new treatments and tackle the unique challenges presented by cancers in children and young people. Working with our partners, this new funding will bring hope for more effective, personalised therapies for everyone affected by cancer.”
Chief Executive of the Little Princess Trust, Phil Brace, said: “Cancer remains the leading cause of death amongst children and young people, and we must change that.
“Since 2016, The Little Princess Trust has been funding research with the aim to offer more targeted and less toxic treatments for children and young people with cancer. We’ve made some good progress, but we want to do so much more. We will achieve so much more for children and young people by working together.”
Scotland’s Chief Scientist for Health, Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak, said: “Early phase clinical trials are an essential component in the drive to develop innovative and effective new approaches to the treatment of cancer.
“The Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office is delighted to partner with Cancer Research UK and the Little Princess Trust in funding the adult and paediatric ECMC’s here in Scotland.”