Scientists at The Christie Hospital in Manchester have received a research grant of £331,429 to improve the effectiveness of radiotherapy treatment for men with prostate cancer.
The grant has been awarded by Prostate Cancer UK through its Movember Foundation Translational Awards Scheme, which will ensure that this ground-breaking project, along with three others, is accelerated through lab tests and clinical trials and ultimately into the clinic for men. A total of £1.5 million has been set aside for the awards in order to drive forward access to new treatments and better diagnostic tests for men with prostate cancer. This is the first time that the charities have reserved funding for research of this nature that focuses on taking promising treatments or techniques and moving them significantly closer to becoming available to men.
Dr Ananya Choudhury and her team at The Christie will use the funds to develop a tool which was originally created for use in head and neck cancer, to see if it can also identify patients who have low levels of oxygen in their prostate tumours. This is important because low oxygen levels can limit the effectiveness of radiotherapy treatment.
Dr Choudhury said; “Men with low levels of oxygen in their prostate tumours typically don’t respond as well to radiotherapy and the cancer can be harder to cure. However, this problem can be sorted using drugs called hypoxia-targeted treatments.
“By identifying those men with low oxygen tumours, we can make sure they receive appropriate treatment so that radiotherapy works as effectively as possible and every man has the best chance of being successfully treated.
“We are so grateful to the Movember Foundation and Prostate Cancer UK for this grant.”
The project will last three years and will then be fast-tracked to a large scale clinical trial at multiple centres in the UK.
Dr Matthew Hobbs, Deputy Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK said; “Every man’s cancer is unique and every man responds differently to different treatments, which is why it’s so important we understand as much as possible about a man’s individual cancer.
“This research will help us to pinpoint those patients that may not respond as well to radiotherapy as others and help us decide which treatment route will work best for each individual man.
“We can learn so much from the successful treatment of other diseases which is why research like this that builds on our existing knowledge of other cancers is so crucial. We look forward to the results of this work.”
Funding from The Movember Foundation has enabled Prostate Cancer UK to rapidly accelerate its mission to find the answers to many of the questions that still surround prostate cancer. People can still donate to this year’s Movember campaign at: https://uk.movember.com/
Dr Choudhury and her team are part of the Belfast-Manchester Movember Centres of Excellence.
For further information on Dr Choudhury’s research, go to: http://prostatecanceruk.org/research/research-we-fund/translational-research-in-biomarkers
About Men United and Prostate Cancer UK:
• Men deserve better. Men United is Prostate Cancer UK’s movement for everyone who believes that men are worth fighting for, to help us beat prostate cancer and keep friendships alive. Some 230,000 people have engaged with Men United since 2014.
• This autumn Men United has tons of fun ways for people to see their mates, from bike rides, sponsored walks, BBQs and quiz nights - all whilst doing something great for Prostate Cancer UK.
• Search Men United, or visit prostatecanceruk.org/menunited
• Prostate Cancer UK works to get men in all areas of the country the early detection, effective diagnosis and better treatments that will beat this disease.
• Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. More than 10,000 men die every year from this male-only disease, and 330,000 men are living with prostate cancer in the UK.
• Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer can contact Prostate Cancer UK's Specialist Nurses in confidence on 0800 074 8383 or via the online Live chat, instant messaging service: www.prostatecanceruk.org. The Specialist Nurse phone service is free to landlines and open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday with late opening until 8pm on Wednesdays.
About the Movember Foundation:
The Movember Foundation is a global charity raising funds and awareness for men’s health. These funds deliver breakthrough research and support services to help men live happier, healthier and longer lives.
The Foundation is responsible for the sprouting of millions of moustaches around the world in November when men become walking talking billboards for men’s health. Mo Bros start the month clean-shaven, and then grow and groom their moustache all month long.
The Movember journey began in 2003 with a few mates in a pub in Melbourne, Australia. The goal was simple – to create a campaign promoting the growth of the moustache among like-minded people and have fun along the way. The movement is about real men growing real moustaches, talking about real issues to help change the face of men’s health.
Since 2003, five million have joined the Movember men’s health movement around the world and raised £400m, funding over 1000 programmes through impact investments that focus on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity.
Funds are directed to men’s health programmes which are shaped by Movember’s vision to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health with programme areas focusing on awareness and education, living with and beyond cancer, staying mentally healthy and research. Programmes are delivered by the Movember Foundation and its men’s health partners in each country. Further information about how Movember’s funds are invested can be found at Movember.com