6 Mar 2013

Match funding deal delivers new boost for historically neglected disease

The Scottish Government and Prostate Cancer UK, with the support of the Movember Foundation, have today (Wednesday 6 March) announced a new six figure boost for research into prostate cancer, the most common cancer in men in Scotland.

The money comes as part of a match-funding agreement between Prostate Cancer UK and the Chief Scientist Office. The deal could see up to £500,000 being pumped into prostate cancer research, with Prostate Cancer UK topping up a £225,000 contribution from the Scottish Government. The money will be used to fund clinical research into detecting the differences between aggressive from non-aggressive disease, one of Prostate Cancer UK's priority areas for research funding.

The news, which comes during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, follows the recent announcement that Prostate Cancer UK and the Movember Foundation have awarded £691,000 to researchers at the universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde and Dundee.

The Scottish Government's contribution to today's £500,000 package was announced by Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Alex Neil MSP, as experts gathered at Prostate Cancer UK's Research Networking Conference at The Beatson Institute in Glasgow.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Alex Neil MSP, said: "Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in Scotland and the fourth most common cancer overall. Prostate cancers range from slow-growing tumours to more aggressive tumours. Slow-growing tumours are common and may not cause any symptoms or shorten life, while aggressive tumours can be more difficult to treat.

"That is why Prostate Cancer UK and the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government have agreed to provide funding for Scottish-led research projects that aim to advance knowledge of prostate cancer. This represents an important collaboration between the Scottish Government and Prostate Cancer UK in providing funding for research into a disease that is a major cause of mortality among men in Scotland."

In January figures published by Prostate Cancer UK showed that breast cancer - the most common female cancer which has a similar death rate as prostate cancer - received more than double the annual research spend per case diagnosed in the UK (£853 compared to £417 respectively).

Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK, said: "Due to decades of underfunding and neglect we still know far too little about why prostate cancer kills one man in the UK every hour. Working with our partners, the Movember Foundation, we have recently been able to triple our research spend to a record £25million over the next three years.

"Whilst incredibly proud to be making these investments we remain acutely aware of how much more still needs to be done to get prostate cancer research on a level footing with other cancers, and crack the disease once and for all. The joint funding package announced by the Scottish Government today is another vital step in that direction, and we are extremely grateful to the Cabinet Secretary and the Government for backing men in this way.

"Working together with the Government and the people of Scotland we can, and will, beat prostate cancer."

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