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Cancer researchers from all over the world awarded share of £4m fund from Scottish charity

The charity Worldwide Cancer Research has committed just over £4 million to fund 20 new cancer research projects. The announcement follows decisions made at the charities annual “Meeting of Minds” involving cancer researchers from all over the world.

Dr Helen Rippon, Chief Executive of Worldwide Cancer Research, said, “Our Meeting of Minds, held in Edinburgh, is a truly special event. We bring together the world’s best cancer scientists to sit around a table and help us pick the unique and daring projects that we feel could one day transform research and the lives of people with cancer.”

“We are so thankful to our generous supporters for raising the money we need to support these pioneering projects. But so many projects were lost simply because of a lack of funds. While we were able to fund £4m of research, we know there was £20m of great ideas that could have been funded. That’s 80 pioneering projects. 80 incredible ideas lost that could have led to new and more effective ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.”

The 20 research projects are being carried out in labs all over the world including the UK, US, Singapore, Europe and Australia and cover many different types of cancer. The duration of each project is between two and three years and the type of research to be carried out varies from drug discovery to understanding what causes cancer and the basic biology of the disease.

Dr Chit Fang Cheok at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore, has been awarded nearly £100,000 to see if a drug used to treat tapeworm infection could be repurposed to treat women with ovarian cancer. In Edinburgh, Scotland, Dr Carsten Hansen has been awarded £200,000 to search for new ways to treat mesothelioma – a type of cancer most associated with exposure to asbestos.

At Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, Professor Kairbaan Hodivala-Dilke has been awarded £200,000 to test a brand new drug to see if it can make immunotherapy more effective against lung cancer. While at The Rockefeller University in New York, USA, Dr John LaCava has received £180,000 to study an ancient genetic parasite that contributes to the development of cancer.

Dr John Maher, a cancer researcher from King’s College London and Chair of the Meeting of Minds, said, “It was incredibly difficult to pick 20 research projects from the abundance of creative and exciting ideas put forward by scientists from all over the world. I believe we have helped Worldwide Cancer Research use their supporter’s generosity to its full potential and I can’t wait to see what new advances emerge from these projects.”

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