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Health and Care Research Wales in joint £2.1m funding provision for new cancer treatments

THE SEARCH for new cancer treatments in Wales is to receive major funding of more than £2m over the next five years thanks to a partnership between Health and Care Research Wales and two national charities.

Cardiff’s Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) will receive £2,184,783 to help doctors and scientists find the cancer treatments of the future for both adults and children, providing hope for people diagnosed with the disease.

The funding has been made possible by a partnership between Health and Care Research Wales, Cancer Research UK, and the Little Princess Trust specifically for children’s cancers. 

Cardiff is part of a network of 17 ECMCs across the UK, funded by Cancer Research UK, which deliver clinical trials of promising new treatments. Since 2007, when the network was first established, around 30,000 patients have taken part in 2,100 trials.

The funding will allow new, experimental treatments – including immunotherapies – for a wide variety of cancers to be developed, as well as improve existing treatments.

ECMCs work in conjunction with local NHS facilities to provide access to cutting-edge cancer treatments. Testing these treatments helps to establish new ways of detecting and monitoring the disease and to evaluate how it responds to the treatment.

Professor Kieran Walshe, Director of Health and Care Research Wales, said: “We are proud to support the development of new, cutting-edge cancer treatments through this exciting and innovative partnership approach.

“Research has long been shown to be pivotal in the fight against this disease, providing NHS clinicians with the tools needed to stay one step ahead of its evolution, as well as enabling the development of specialist therapies and effective aftercare for those affected by it.”

Professors Oliver Ottman and Robert Jones, Joint Directors of the Cardiff ECMC, added: “We are delighted Cardiff has secured this funding, helping us to expand our patient-centred research and delivery of innovative therapies.”

“Clinical trials are crucial to new and improved treatments becoming adopted as standard treatments by the NHS. Our unique collaborative approach combines trial expertise in blood cancers and solid tumours with laboratory-based research and is supported by a range of healthcare professionals and patient representatives. 

“Thousands of patients have already been provided with access to life-saving drugs and therapies through the Cardiff ECMC. We look forward to delivering new treatment opportunities to patients in Wales and beyond."

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