Prostate Cancer UK, The Movember Foundation and the Scottish Government have today (Friday 27 June) handed researchers at Dundee University a six figure sum to investigate unanswered questions surrounding prostate cancer, the most common cancer in men in Scotland.
Prostate Cancer UK and Movember are adding £275,000 to a £225,000 contribution from the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office, creating a grand total of £500,000 being pumped into the exciting new project.
The money will be used to fund clinical research that is being carried out in patients for the first time. The researchers will be investigating ways to improve the diagnosis of aggressive prostate cancer and reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies, one of Prostate Cancer UK’s priority areas for research funding.
The announcement comes during Prostate Cancer UK’s new national campaign, ‘Men United v Prostate Cancer’, which uses the language of sport to engage men in the battle against the disease.
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Alex Neil MSP, said “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and is predicted to be the most common cancer overall in the UK by 2030. Prostate cancers range from very slow-growing and potentially harmless to highly aggressive and life-threatening. More work needs to be done to identify how advanced a tumour is.
“I am therefore delighted that the Scottish Government and Prostate Cancer UK, through their partnership with The Movember Foundation, have been able to jointly fund the research announced today, with the work being undertaken at one of Scotland’s top universities. We can, and will, beat prostate cancer – and today’s announcement is another step towards this ultimate destination.”
Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Each year almost as many men are diagnosed with prostate cancer as women are diagnosed with breast cancer. But research into prostate cancer has suffered from a historic legacy of neglect, leaving tests and treatments trailing decades behind other common cancers - men are dying needlessly due to inadequate methods of testing for the disease. Through funding research projects of this nature we are determined to right this long-standing wrong. Thanks to the support of the Scottish Government and the Movember Foundation that is exactly what Prostate Cancer UK is determined to achieve with this project.”
Work on the five year £500,000 research project will be led by Mr Ghulam Nabi, from the University of Dundee’s School of Medicine. Mr Nabi’s project is to investigate whether MRI and ultrasound scans could be used to reduce the number of biopsies required to confirm a prostate cancer diagnosis, and to more readily identify the difference between aggressive and non-aggressive prostate cancers.
Mr Nabi said: “The current process for diagnosing prostate cancer involves several steps, each with their own built-in uncertainties. It is my hope that the work I am able to do with this funding will lead to more streamlined diagnoses, with fewer biopsies and the potential to tell the difference between aggressive and non-aggressive forms of prostate cancer.
“Small studies suggest that using a special type of MRI before a biopsy can help to achieve these aims. This funding allows me and my team to expand these studies into a large trial, with better comparison methods and more rigorous protocols. I am delighted to have been given this opportunity and thank Prostate Cancer UK, Movember and the Scottish Government for granting this fantastic opportunity to me and my team.”
Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer can call Prostate Cancer UK's confidential Helpline on 0800 074 8383 or visit www.prostatecanceruk.org. The helpline is free to landlines, staffed by specialist nurses, and open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 8pm on Wednesdays.