Oxford University's work on precision cancer medicine has received a significant boost after Cancer Research UK announced that it would give the existing Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre Major Centre status and increase funding for research in the city.
Oxford is one of the first to gain Major Centre status, receiving an extra £5 million from Cancer Research UK over two years. The Centre will act as a vital research hub for a network of similar centres, drawing together expertise, encouraging collaborative research, and bridging the gap between innovative laboratory work and benefits for patients.
The new Major Centre strategy will focus on translating Oxford’s world-leading science across a broad range of disciplines, and ensure its translation into the clinic. Benefits for patients will be at the heart of its activities, drawing together expertise from different fields, including those not traditionally involved in cancer research.
Priorities include the development of new immunotherapies and bringing together biologists, physicists, mathematicians and engineers to deliver new treatments. Investment will tie together advances in diagnostics, genomics, surgery, imaging, radiotherapy, and drug development to fulfil the Centre’s vision for precision medicine.
Oxford University's Professor Gillies McKenna, director of the Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre, said: 'We look forward to making the most of our role as a Major Centre and leader in cancer research in the UK. The new initiative will bring researchers and clinicians together in sustainable networks with longer term investment. This will allow us to combine the latest developments in radiotherapy and surgery with clinical trials of new drugs, providing the best evidence to guide cancer treatment and enhance cancer cure rates.'
The Oxford Centre is a partnership between the University, Cancer Research UK and the Oxford University Hospitals Trust.
Dr Iain Foulkes, executive director for research funding at Cancer Research UK, said: 'The development of these Major Centres will accelerate national and international collaborations and improve treatments for patients. In each location we are developing cutting-edge approaches in how we treat the disease, be that the detection of individual tumour cells in the blood that allow us to monitor the disease or precision radiotherapy. With these Centres the UK goes from strength to strength in supporting the best cancer research in the world.'
About Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre
- The Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre is a partnership between Oxford University, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and Cancer Research UK.
- The Centre is harnessing Oxford’s world-leading cancer research to facilitate rapid translation from scientific discovery to treatments in patients and increase cancer cure rates.
- The Oxford Centre Network has over 500 members from across 25 different departments, units and institutes of Oxford University and Oxford University NHS Trust.
- The Centre is an inclusive and integrated network of organisations in Oxford for whom cancer research is the prime focus.
- The Centre connects and supports people working in cancer research, help them to find funding; and create and identify training opportunities.
- The Oxford Centre facilitates research collaboration on a local, national and international scale to speed up translation from scientific discovery to treatments in patients and increase cancer cure rates.