University's cancer research centre launches major fundraising drive

A major fundraising drive is being launched by Nottingham Trent University's John van Geest Cancer Research Centre to help support its crucial work in improving the early diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

The research funding and donations we receive make a real difference to the way we can tackle the problems facing cancer sufferers.

Professor Robert Rees, John van Geest Cancer Research Centre

A major fundraising drive is being launched by Nottingham Trent University's John van Geest Cancer Research Centre to help support its crucial work in improving the early diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

The centre, based at the University's Clifton Campus, is a unique purpose-built scientific facility which is dedicated to overcoming the challenges of modern day cancer research.

A key area of its work is to develop vaccines and immunotherapies which could significantly improve survival rates and quality of life for cancer sufferers.

The centre was established in 2008, following a donation from the John and Lucille van Geest Foundation and although its work predominantly focuses on breast and prostate cancer, its findings are relevant to all types of cancer.

"Our research can only continue to make a real impact through public support," said Professor Robert Rees, the Director of the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre.

He said: "This is an exciting, yet critical, time for our work. Recent advances in technology and our growing understanding of how cancer cells behave are allowing progress in developing new ways to diagnose and treat cancer to be more rapid than ever before.

"Donations are crucial in helping to fund experiments, purchase essential equipment and supporting our dedicated team of researchers.

"The research funding and donations we receive make a real difference to the way we can tackle the problems facing cancer sufferers – and all of the money we receive goes directly towards our research.

"We have a world-class team of research scientists collaborating across different disciplines. They have been chosen for their skills and expertise and will be here for as long it takes us to make a difference."

Central to the centre's work is the continued discovery and application of new molecules, or biomarkers, which can provide important clues about the disease.

In a recent study, scientists at the centre identified how a specific region of a prostate-related protein can be used to trigger the body's immune response against prostate cancer – potentially paving the way for new and improved vaccines.

They have also found that prognosis for women with breast cancer could be better predicted by focusing on a specific molecule in a patient's tumour. This finding may help to bring an end to unnecessary and aggressive treatments for women with the disease who already have a good chance of survival.

And the team have recently identified a protein which plays a key role in restricting the body's natural defences against malignant melanoma – the most serious form of skin cancer – which could have broad implications for future treatment of the disease.

To help launch the centre's fundraising drive, musical star Kerry Ellis will perform with the Nottingham Trent University Choir and the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a West End extravaganza. The event, A Night in the West End, will take place at the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall on 15 March, with the proceeds going to the centre.

Visit the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre website to find out more about its work, or to make a donation towards its vital scientific research.

We have a world class team of research scientists collaborating across different disciplines.

Professor Robert Rees

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University's cancer research centre launches major fundraising drive

Published on 5 March 2014
  • Category: Press office; Research; School of Science and Technology

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