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Cancer breakthroughs at Manchester shine bright

04 Feb 2021

Our University's contribution to cancer research has been celebrated in a collection of research stories published on World Cancer Day (Thursday, 4 February) to showcase the diversity of the research we undertake and how it is transforming patient outcomes globally

In a year which the scientific community has pulled together to battle COVID-19, the continued commitment of the global cancer research community at our University has continued to progress advancements in all areas including prevention, earlier detection and best treatment and aftercare. These will benefit the one in two of us likely to be diagnosed with some form of cancer during our lifetime.

Cancer is one of our five research beacons, examples of pioneering discoveries, interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector partnerships that are tackling some of the biggest questions facing the planet.

Cancer Beacon and Domain Lead, Professor Rob Bristow said: “Cancer is a beacon and this is one of the reasons I came to the University to both lead, and collaborate with world-leading scientists in a team science approach to tackle complex and challenging questions in cancer research.  As the UK’s and Europe’s leading University on social responsibility, we have a duty and commitment that our research benefits all our patients, regardless of background, and to globally transform our understanding of cancer through our partnerships in Africa and other countries. This underpins our “Precision Cancer Medicine for All” approach in Manchester.

Each of the six research case studies shows how Manchester scientists are pioneering new ways of approaching detection and treatment methods and translating these to a change national policy with new care pathways as a result. Optimal translational of the research means more lives are positively impacted by our work.

Professor Bristow said: “The cancer research stories celebrated in this campaign are just a snapshot of the research brilliance at Manchester. We are constantly testing and trying new ideas, thanks to the way our team science facilitates cross-disciplinary working. For example, our basic scientists and biologists are linking with experts in AI and big data, and exploring with experts in advanced materials how we can utilise graphene and biowearables in our detection and treatment methods. Manchester understanding is constantly evolving and challenging itself with research questions that will ultimately benefit local NW England and global populations.”

Manchester’s contribution to advancing understanding of the disease and improving outcomes for patients has been celebrated in a poem penned by Manchester poet Tony Walsh to be released  World Cancer Day, to highlight their continued commitment to cancer services, despite the on-going pandemic.