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Clinical trials for cancer to receive more investment

How will the extra investment help?

Cancer Research UK is to make one of its largest investments to date, £45m, into its nationwide network of clinical trial units (CTUs.)

The trials aim to find out if a new treatment is safe to use and if it is better than existing treatments. Every year about 23,000 people take part in clinical trials supported by the charity.

The money will be given over five years and split between eight CTUs in Cardiff, Birmingham, Glasgow, Southampton, Leeds, UCL, the Institute of Cancer Research, London, and Queen Mary University, London.

Chief clinician at Cancer Research UK, Professor Charles Swanton, said the trials are particularly important for patients with hard to treat cancers, such as pancreatic, oesophageal, lung and brain tumours, where options for treatment are limited and survival rates remain poor.

The CTUs each focus on different areas including children’s cancer, cancer screening and population research.

The Birmingham CTU runs the international BEACON trial which tests combinations of therapies for children and young people with neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer.

Director of the Birmingham unit, Professor Pamela Kearns said the unit wants to find out if Bevacizumab, a biological therapy that targets the tumour’s blood supply, works for children. The drug is already used for adults.

Further information

Cancer Research UK: Cancer Research UK to invest £45m in clinical trials