£4 million for Scotland to research new cancer treatments

The development of new cancer treatments in Scotland is to receive up to £4 million in funding to give hope to people diagnosed with the disease.

The Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) in Glasgow and the Paediatric ECMC in the city will receive up to £2,286,575 over the next five years, while the ECMC in Edinburgh will receive up to £1,796,899 to help doctors and scientists develop the cancer treatments of the future for adults and children.

This funding was made possible through a partnership between Cancer Research UK, the Scottish Government and the Little Princess Trust, which provides funding specifically for childhood cancers.

The patient who participated in the successful clinical trial therapy welcomed the investment

The investment was welcomed by retired Paisley school principal Jim McCallum from Paisley, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2017.

His lymphoma didn't respond to standard treatment, but he was able to participate in the CAR T-cell therapy clinical trial at Glasgow ECMC in 2020 and is now cancer-free and no longer taking treatment for the disease.

He said, "They can't find any traces of the cancer now. I was just so glad there was a treatment I could try, and taking part in a trial also has the potential to help others, it's all about gathering information.


The ECMC network has facilitated 2100 clinical trials since its establishment in 2007

Glasgow and Edinburgh are part of a network of 17 ECMCs across the United Kingdom funded by Cancer Research UK to conduct clinical trials of new experimental treatments in patients. Since the network was established in 2007, approximately 30,000 patients have participated in 2,100 clinical trials.

This funding enables the development of new experimental treatments, including immunotherapies and cell therapies, for a wide variety of cancers, particularly those that most affect the Scottish population.

It also improves existing treatments, particularly through more targeted therapies for a patient's tumour, and supports trials for a wide range of treatments, from innovative drug therapies to the latest advances in radiotherapy.

ECMCs work with local NHS facilities to provide access to cutting-edge trials and treatments, and to find new ways to detect, monitor and treat the disease so that cancer can be beaten sooner.

We are delighted Edinburgh has secured this funding, along with our close colleagues in Glasgow.

Clinical trials are crucial to improving cancer therapies and our ECMCs lead trials of the newest innovative treatments. This provides access to the latest experimental therapies for our current patients to help develop new standard treatments for the patients of the future.

ECMC funding allows us to provide these promising new treatment options for people throughout Scotland and to make progress in the effective treatment of cancer for everyone.

On behalf of the Glasgow team, I am delighted that we have secured this funding which will allow our patients to have access to clinical trials of the very latest developments in new, experimental treatments for cancer.

This funding is essential to support our ambitions to provide access to trials of experimental therapies for patients in the West of Scotland and beyond, in collaboration with our colleagues in Edinburgh, so that we provide equal access to trials for patients wherever they live in Scotland.

Thousands of patients have kindly participated in these trials through the Glasgow and Edinburgh ECMCs and this funding, in partnership with other Cancer Centres in Scotland and throughout the UK, will benefit people with cancer in Scotland and beyond.

We are proud to be supporting our successful ECMC network, bringing together vast medical and scientific expertise to translate the latest scientific discoveries from the lab into the clinic.

The ECMC network is delivering the cancer treatments of the future, bringing new hope to people affected by cancer. The trials taking place today will give the next generation the best possible chance of beating cancer.

The adult and paediatric ECMC networks will offer clinical trials for many different types of cancer. Researchers will be working to find new treatments and tackle the unique challenges presented by cancers in children and young people. Working with our partners, this new funding will bring hope for more effective, personalised therapies for everyone affected by cancer.

Related Links

Institute of Genetics and Cancer

Cancer Research UK - CAR T-cell therapy

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