We're funding new bowel cancer research this World Cancer Day

3rd February 2020

This World Cancer Day, meet Dr Maite Huarte – a Worldwide Cancer Research scientist from Spain looking to identify new therapeutic approaches for treatment-resistant bowel cancer

Today is World Cancer Day (Tuesday 4th of Febuary) – a day dedicated to raising awareness of cancer and encouraging its prevention, detection, and treatment. At Worldwide Cancer Research every day is World Cancer Day, but it’s fantastic to see so many individuals and organisations coming together to create a future without cancer, so we wanted to mark the occasion. And what better way to do so than to unveil a brand-new research project for 2020?

Since Worldwide Cancer Research was founded in 1979, cancer survival rates have doubled, and we have funded almost 2,000 projects across the globe, worth approximately £200 million.

Every one of these projects had to go through an extensive application process to be reviewed by experts in cancer research before being presented to our Scientific Advisory Committee at our annual Bold Ideas Gathering. Every year, some of the world’s top cancer researchers meet in our home city, Edinburgh, to discuss how to invest the money raised through fundraising and generous public donations by selecting what projects to fund for the following year.

One of the projects chosen for 2020 was submitted by Dr Maite Huarte, who’s based in Spain. Dr Huarte and her team are looking to identify new therapeutic approaches for treatment-resistant bowel cancer – one of the most common cancers worldwide and the third most common cancer in Scotland today.

Dr Huarte said of the announcement: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have been chosen as one of the projects to be backed by Worldwide Cancer Research this year. While survival rates have made an impressive jump in the last 40 years, only slightly more than half of all patients survive for 10 years or longer after their diagnosis of bowel cancer. This is partly because bowel cancer can become resistant to treatments.

“We saw an urgent need for new ways to tackle this resistance and are now working to understand the behaviour of tumour cells. In particularly we are interested in the role a molecule called IncRNA plays in treatment resistance. Our long-term goal is to be able to develop therapies that target lncRNAs and stop cancers from growing. Discovery is at the heart of research and is what keeps us excited about what we do every day in our lab. We’re delighted to be working with a charity that shares this excitement with us.”

Did you know… 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK? It’s the second most common cause of cancer death across the country.