Laura Holland

Cambridge Institute Research Project

Fundraising for Cancer Research UK
raised of £100,000 target
by 8 supporters
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Cancer Research UK

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RCN 1089464, SC041666, 1103 & 247
We pioneer life-saving cancer research to help us beat cancer


More than 500 people in the city of Cambridge are diagnosed with cancer each year and the earlier each patient receives a treatment that’s going to work for their cancer, the better their chance of beating it. For some cancers, each unsuccessful treatment can delay the process of finding the best treatment.

Cancer cells within the same tumour can have different gene mutations and characteristics, which may explain why treatment can sometimes work for some patients but not others. Professor Brindle and Dr Gallagher are the first in Europe to test a ground-breaking imaging technique that could enable doctors to see much earlier whether a treatment is working. Their revolutionary technique is being trialed in the first patients outside North America, in Addenbrooke’s hospital. The rapid scan will allow doctors to map out molecular changes in cancers, opening up new ways to detect it. It could also mean that doctors can find out within a matter of days if a treatment is working for their patient instead of waiting to see if a tumour shrinks.

We are very excited to have this research going on in Cambridge. If it’s successful, this new imaging technique could change how we treat patients in the future. Improvements and developments in technology like this have the potential to give each cancer patient a better chance of surviving their disease.  It’s this type of intelligent, innovative thinking that’s going to help us accelerate progress and beat cancer sooner. So please get behind the appeal and help support this local research.

Right now, doctors use the size of a tumour to determine if a treatment is working or not.  If it stops growing or starts shrinking, then the treatment's classified as working.  If the tumour doesn't shrink or stops growing, treatment's classed as having failed.

But Professor Brindle and Dr Gallagher don't believe this is the most accurate or fastest way of monitoring if treatment is working.  Instead, they believe measuring the chemical activity of the tumour cells would be better.

This is because cancer cells that are responding to treatment shut down and die quickly, meaning their chemical activity is lower than cells that aren't responding  to treatment.  Currently, patients must wait for weeks or months to find out if a treatment is working or not.  But doctors believe this wait is too long.

The hope is that the new technique will speed up this process and ultimately, be used to help more people with all types of cancer get the treatment that is right for them faster.

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About the charity

Cancer Research UK

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1089464, SC041666, 1103 & 247
We‘re the world‘s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving and improving lives through research. We fund research into the prevention, detection and treatment of more than 200 types of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.

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