Edinburgh scientists to get £3.7million CRUK funding for cutting edge cancer research

13 May 2016

Edinburgh scientists are set to receive a major cash boost from Cancer Research UK which could help to develop groundbreaking new brain tumour treatments.

Experts from the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre*, based at The University of Edinburgh, will receive £3.7 million over the next five years. Edinburgh is one of just four leading research centres to secure a significant cash injection for its cutting-edge research into tackling brain tumours.

This is part of a £16 million UK-wide initiative – Cancer Research UK’s Centres’ Network Accelerator Awards** – to help speed up progress being made in the fight against cancers which are difficult to treat.

The funding will support scientists who will take samples from patients’ tumours during surgery and then grow these brain tumour cells in the lab to study the faulty molecules that underpin the disease. This will help them discover better ways to treat and diagnose brain tumours, which still have poor survival rates.

Dr Steve Pollard, senior researcher at the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, is the lead scientist for the study which could help to save the lives of more people with brain tumours in the city – and across the UK – in the future.

He said:

We’re delighted to have been awarded this grant from Cancer Research UK to help further our understanding of brain tumours.

Whilst survival for many types of cancer has improved dramatically over the last 40 years, tackling brain tumours remains a real challenge and they take the lives of far too many people each year.

The vital investment in this study is crucial to help us understand the biology of brain tumours and find new and better ways to treat them.

We are committed to improving the outlook for people with brain tumours and their loved ones and hope to ensure more people survive this devastating disease.

Cancer Research UK’s Centres’ Network Accelerator Awards aim to encourage collaboration between research centres across the UK to inspire new approaches to beating cancer and help turn discoveries made in the lab into better treatments for patients faster.

Researchers from the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre will use their funding to work together with experts from three London research centres – University College London, the Institute of Cancer Research and the Francis Crick Institute.

Dr Iain Foulkes, executive director for research funding at Cancer Research UK, said:

Effective partnerships are crucial for delivering the greatest science and boosting advancements in fighting cancer. “We’re excited to be investing in collaborative and innovative research in Edinburgh and across the UK. It’s by working together and uniting expertise that we will accelerate cutting-edge research and save more lives.



Name                                     Linda Summerhayes

Organisation                      Cancer Research UK Press Manager

Telephone                           07824 600540 (mobile)

Email                                      Linda.Summerhayes@cancer.org.uk

Notes to editors

*The Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre is a partnership between Cancer Research UK, the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian.

** The Centres’ Network Accelerator Awards provide infrastructure support to research centres in order to encourage collaboration between different organisations and boost ‘bench to bedside’ science.

About Cancer Research UK

  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.
  • Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
  • Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on every pound donated.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival in the UK double in the last forty years.
  • Today, 2 in 4 people still be alive 10 years or more after a cancer diagnosis.
  • Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that by 2034, 3 in 4 people will still be alive 10 years or more after a cancer diagnosis.
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses. Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.