Research into prostate cancer has been given a 'critical' boost
as The Prostate Cancer Charity today (24th January) announces its
largest investment in research into the disease to date.
Spread over 15 projects from across the UK, the Charity is
investing over £2 million in an attempt to target some of the most
important research challenges facing the disease today, from
helping to prevent prostate cancer through to improving the
diagnosis and treatment options available to men.
Speaking about their landmark investment, Owen Sharp, Chief
Executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity, explains: "Despite being
the most common cancer in men, the research evidence surrounding
prostate cancer is limited and the Charity's new research portfolio
underlines our commitment to finding answers to this often complex
and confusing disease.
"Over the past three years the Charity has more than trebled our
investment in research as government funded research into the
disease continues to lag behind that of other common cancers.
Through our research portfolio we are proud to be working alongside
some of the UKs top scientists to balance out this inequality and
tackle some of the critical gaps in knowledge surrounding the
disease, to ensure men and their families get the answers they
The Charity will be funding projects from across the country at
institutions including the University of Bradford, University of
Cambridge, University of Glasgow, Institute of Cancer Research, and
Imperial College London.
It is hoped that a number of projects will be able to
significantly improve the care and treatment of men with prostate
cancer in the near future, including that led by Dr Dean Barratt,
Senior Lecturer, at University College London which looks at
improving how the disease is diagnosed.
Dr Barratt said: "Due to the location of the prostate gland
itself, the process of diagnosing cancer is a delicate and
stressful time for any man who suspects they may have the disease.
Through this project, which looks at developing an improved
approach for performing needle biopsy by a new kind of ultrasound
imaging, we hope to dramatically improve biopsy accuracy and reduce
the number of tissue samples required to establish an accurate
diagnosis. The result, we hope, will be a shorter and more
comfortable procedure for men, which is easier for doctors to
The Charity is also funding projects to drive forward new ways
of controlling forms of the disease which are not currently
treatable. These include that led by Dr Helen Sheldrake - RCUK
Research Fellow at the University of Bradford, which looks in to
how to stop prostate cancer spreading to the bone once it has
stopped responding to existing treatments.
Dr Sheldrake explains: "For men whose cancer has stopped
responding to hormone therapy, further treatment possibilities are
currently extremely limited, meaning that ways to extend their
lives beyond this point are also reduced. Although currently some
way off, the findings from this study could be incredibly powerful
in bringing us closer to finding new treatments which are so
The fifteen grants were awarded via a competitive process of
peer review and chosen due to their extremely high quality and
relevance to men with prostate cancer.
The Prostate Cancer Charity has a strong history of supporting
the delivery of world class research and has invested over £12
million to date.
more about the research projects.