MP dons lab coat to learn how research saves lives

Steve McCabe met Cancer Research UK-funded scientists at Birmingham last week (Friday 4 November) to learn about our life-saving work.

mccabeThe MP for Birmingham, Selly Oak witnessed ground-breaking research at the Institute of Cancer & Genomic Sciences here at the University of Birmingham, where researchers funded by the charity are helping to ensure more children and adults survive the disease.

During the visit, Steve learnt about the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit which works on trials across a wide range of cancers, including breast, lung, skin, sarcoma, blood cancers and head and neck cancers.  The charity also funds a Children’s Cancer Trials team at the University – the only one of its kind in the UK - putting Birmingham at the forefront of children’s cancer research.  The team coordinates ground-breaking clinical trials at centres across the country, including Birmingham Children’s Hospital, making innovative new treatments available to children with cancer.

The visit also included a tour of the labs with Dr Andrew Beggs, where Steve heard more about new research into bowel cancer.  Steve said:

“Cancer has a devastating impact on families in Selly Oak so it was inspiring to hear about the progress Cancer Research UK is making in the fight against the disease right here on our doorstep.  The visit highlighted why it is so important to support the vital research that benefits thousands of people affected by cancer not just in the West Midlands but across the UK”.

Matt Davies, Head of Public Affairs at Cancer Research UK, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for Steve McCabe MP to see the value in investing in research.

“Half of people diagnosed with cancer now survive, but half is not enough. At Cancer Research UK, we are working to accelerate progress so that 3 in 4 survive cancer by 2034. In order to achieve our ambition it is crucial that the Government continues to encourage and support research.  Whilst we receive no government funding, political support is vital to ensure our work can continue to lead to ground-breaking discoveries that will benefit patients in the West Midlands and beyond.”

Professor Pamela Kearns, Professor of Clinical Paediatric Oncology, and host for the visit said:

“Birmingham is on the frontline in the fight against cancer with hundreds of scientists, doctors and nurses striving every day to find better, more effective and kinder ways to treat this devastating disease.  It was fantastic to be able to showcase some of their work, which is amongst some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research, and their efforts to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”

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