New cancer centre launched in Southampton

Peter Johnson

Southampton today joins a unique chain of Cancer Research UK Centres that are being launched across the UK.
These cancer centres will draw together world class research and areas of medical expertise to provide the best possible results for cancer patients nationwide.
As one of the first centres, the Southampton Cancer Research UK Centre will help set the pace for national and international progress in immunology and immunotherapy. It will focus on the biology and treatment of lymphoma, bladder and breast cancer and cancer genetics. 
Collaboration is the key to the success of the centre, which will lead on cancer pathology and develop new diagnostic tests to aid the early detection of cancer.
Cancer Research UK already supports research in Southampton to the tune of over £3million pounds a year and its support of the Southampton centre could see its annual contribution increase to nearer four. 
Professor Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK chief clinician and medical oncologist at Southampton General Hospital, said: “Joining the network of Cancer Research UK centres is very important for patients, doctors and scientists in Southampton. It will strengthen the work we already do in bringing treatments straight from the laboratory to the clinic and help us to do more work in important areas such as research in surgery. The centre will also make sure we can recruit and train the brightest young researchers in cancer for the future.”
In partnership with the University of Southampton, the centre also aims to maintain excellence in training clinical and non-clinical postgraduates with the expansion of the existing four year PhD programme. The centre is building upon existing strength in surgical oncology, particularly the development of surgical research in breast and head and neck cancers.
The centre aims to be a world leader in developing treatments tailored to individual cancer patients based on understanding the biology of the disease and how that varies among patients. It brings together the researchers and support from the University of Southampton, Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust and Cancer Research UK.
Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: "Funding these centres of excellence is one of the charity's priorities and will enable us to work towards the goals we have set to improve the treatment and survival of cancer patients. But we continue to welcome the generous donations we receive from the public to ensure we can continue to build on what we have started today."

Posted on Wednesday 29 April 2009