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£300k for ground-breaking cancer research at University of Bradford

11 January 12

The discovery of new cancer drugs in Bradford has been given a welcome boost of more than £300k in funding from Yorkshire Cancer Research.

The extra cash will enable Professor Laurence Patterson and his team at the University of Bradford’s Institute for Cancer Therapeutics to continue their groundbreaking work into the development of cancer medicines through to September 2013.

The Cancer Medicines Discovery Programme, which was initially awarded funding for four years, is currently on target with projects having met important milestones in the identification of cancer specific targets, how targets can be treated and whether treatments work.

A significant treatment developed during the programme, which has the potential to find and completely destroy solid tumours regardless of cancer type, will now be taken through the final stages of preclinical assessment, after which clinical trials are planned to start at St James's University Hospital in Leeds.

The drug is inactive until triggered by the heightened activity of an enzyme that is always found in the tumour environment, releasing a potent anti-cancer agent which destroys the tumour's blood vessels, causing it to starve to death.

Professor Patterson said: "I am delighted with the award. Funding this translational research will enable us to undertake proof-of-principle studies in support of the development of our new cancer medicines from novel concepts to the clinic for the benefit of patients.

"Our approach is to identify novel strategies that will harness tumours’ own enzymes, called CYPs and MMPs, to directly and selectively kill the cancer.

"We are also developing novel ways to prevent the spread of cancer throughout the body by inhibiting processes driven by pathways pivotal to aggressive tumours difficult to treat, notably glioma, neuroblastoma, small cell lung cancer and advanced cancers with poor prognosis such as breast, prostate and melanoma."

Yorkshire Cancer Research is committed to funding £6m of world-class cancer research, treatment and diagnosis throughout the region every year with the aim of slashing current statistics that show 259 people die every week from cancer in Yorkshire alone.

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11 January 12

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Further information for Media Enquirers

For further information please contact the University of Bradford Press Office on 01274 23 3089/3084.

Out of office hours call 07879 437996. Alternatively, e-mail or fax on (01274) 236280.