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Big C announces new cancer research and equipment grants


Norfolk and Waveney cancer charity, Big C, has announced their latest round of grant awards for cancer research and equipment projects taking place at the Norwich Research Park totalling over £332,000

The grants have been awarded to science and medical schools across the University of East Anglia totalling £294,441.37 and a medical equipment award to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) for £38,054.

Funding for the internationally significant breakthrough project into prostate cancer, known as the Tiger Test, has been awarded to eminent cancer scientist Professor Colin Cooper and his team at Norwich Medical School to support clinical trials focused on distinguishing aggressive from non-aggressive prostate cancer.

The team is working towards clinical trials, following which it is hoped the Tiger Test will save lives by providing an accurate diagnosis of aggressive prostate cancer, whilst sparing tens of thousands of men with clinically irrelevant ‘pussycat’ cancers from unnecessary treatment that often results in life-changing side-effects.

The Department of Nuclear Medicine at the NNUH has received a grant to purchase and install equipment in two rooms to improve the patient experience when scanning is being undertaken. The rooms are currently undergoing planned refurbishment, when moving and static images will be enabled in LED ceiling panels with each scanner equipped with a media unit to offer music and radio. The aim is to enhance patient comfort at a particularly anxious time, when sometimes lengthy scan times are necessary.

Dr Andrew Beekman at the UEA School of Pharmacy has received funding for the first three years of a PhD post for a research project into a new, potentially lower cost, technique related to Immune Checkpoint Therapy which controls the interaction of two types of protein linked to cancer’s hallmark ability to evade the immune system. Immune Checkpoint Therapy was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2018.

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