HEFCE put out a major call in July 2012 for the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UK RPIF). This funding supports long-term university capital projects. We are delighted to share the news of the success of the Oxford bid for an Oxford Targeted Cancer Research Centre
The project will see the establishment of a new world-leading £138m centre for targeted cancer research to develop, test and implement personalised diagnosis, imaging and therapy. The project will be a partnership including the University of Oxford, the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Cancer Research UK, Synergy Health, Roche Diagnostics and GE Healthcare.
The new centre will be led jointly by Professors Gillies McKenna and Adrian Harris from the University Department of Oncology, and Professor Freddie Hamdy from the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences. This will be a fully comprehensive cancer centre for research involving patients with early-stage cancer.
Potential new cancer drugs have traditionally been first tried out in patients with end-stage disease and results are often disappointing. Even when responses are seen, they are often quite brief. The new centre will change this paradigm by integrating cutting edge molecular diagnostics with an examination of how new drug candidates might be combined with the latest surgery or radiotherapy techniques, in early high risk cancers. The centre will also develop new ways of imaging cancer to select and monitor treatment, to be able to determine very quickly whether the right treatment has been selected.
It is hoped this new approach could see a change in how new treatments are developed for cancer, by combining them with the best available curative treatments.
The project is at a very early stage and there is now much work to be done to bring it to fruition, but we look forward to seeing the plans for the centre develop, and wish the partners every success with the project.