It's almost a year since our Movember Centres of Excellence opened their doors for business. Here’s a roundup of what's happened so far, including a moving film about how one man's bequest is already making a difference to research in London.
The Belfast-Manchester Movember Centre of Excellence set out with a very clear aim: to predict who will respond best to treatments for advanced disease, and who’s at risk of their disease returning after initial radical therapy.
The team started by recruiting new research leaders from around the world to head up some of their projects, with experts joining them from Boston, Oslo, California and Cambridge.
These new teams had their work cut out to get up and running within the year, but they’ve risen to the challenge and their projects are all off to a flying start. In fact, the first clinical trials are getting ready to recruit, and they’ve already pulled in additional funding from elsewhere to extend their ambitious research programme.
The London Centre of Excellence is off to an award-winning start, as the UCH Urology Team won a prestigious Innovation award from the British Medical Journal for their pioneering work to improve prostate cancer diagnosis.
Meanwhile at the Institute of Cancer Research, they’ve recruited staff to run a clinical trial called CTC-STOP. This trial is based on the idea that the number of cancer cells that have escaped the tumour to move through the blood stream (known as circulating tumour cells or CTCs) gives an indication of how well a treatment is working. The trial will investigate whether switching treatments based on a change in the number of CTCs in the blood can improve survival for men with advanced prostate cancer.
Both teams have already demonstrated the value of bringing researchers and clinicians with different scientific and medical expertise together to make a real and lasting change for men with prostate cancer. And it’s only going to get better as the results of these projects start to come through in the coming years. Watch this space!