Cancer researchers at Queen’s University Belfast win European Health Award

Cancer researchers at Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Leeds, as part of a pan-European partnership, called the European Cancer Concord (ECC) won the prestigious 2018 European Health Award. MErCuRIC PI Professor Mark Lawler, Chair in Translational Cancer Research at Queen’s University Belfast and Vice President of ECC, received the award on October 3, 2018 on behalf of the partnership during the opening ceremony of the European Health Forum Gastein, a European health policy conference and an official event of the Austrian European Council Presidency.

The award-winning project, ‘The European Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights: A Catalyst for Change and an empowerment tool for cancer patients across Europe’ involves an equal partnership between cancer patients, healthcare professionals and cancer researchers. The Bill of Rights is underpinned by three key principles: the right of every European citizen to receive accurate information and be involved in their own care; the right of every European citizen to access specialised cancer care underpinned by research and innovation; and the right of every European citizen to cost-effective health systems that ensure optimum cancer outcomes.

Professor Lawler commented: “Cancer knows no borders, so it is important that we work together to develop solutions that address cancer inequalities in all parts of Europe. I am immensely proud to be accepting this award, not only on behalf of our team who have worked together over the last five years on this initiative, but also on behalf of the millions of European citizens who are living with and beyond cancer, and experiencing cancer inequalities every single day of their lives.”

Working in close partnership with European patient organisations and professional societies has been a key part of the initiative. MErCuRIC patient representative Margaret Grayson, a cancer survivor and Chairperson of the Northern Ireland Cancer Research Consumer Forum (NICRCF), remarked: “The news that the European Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights has received a top European award is wonderful. This collaborative initiative has patients absolutely at its centre. It is especially pleasing that Professor Lawler will be collecting this award at Gastein, given Northern Ireland’s leadership role in the project.”

“We at the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) are delighted to be part of this joint success,” Lydia Makaroff, Director of the European Cancer Patient Coalition, added. “The ECPC has been a crucial partner in the European Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights since it was launched in the European Parliament on World Cancer Day in 2014, and has worked tirelessly to find solutions to the disparities that cancer patients experience across Europe.”

Read the press release from Queen’s University Belfast here.

Queen’s University Belfast team makes a massive colon cancer breakthrough

New findings emerging from the research team at Queen’s University Belfast have identified a cellular process which can be exploited in order to kill BRAF mutant colon cancer cells, a particularly aggressive subgroup of colon cancers. These cancers are not only extremely aggressive but they do not respond well to conventional cancer treatments.

The QUB team behind the discovery describe it as a “ground-breaking therapeutic process that can target and kill bowel cancer cells”. The treatment will be a key tool in tackling the most aggressive form of the illness which conventional treatments have little or no impact on. The revolutionary technique may improve survival rates for colon cancer patients globally.

Professor Sandra Van Schaeybroeck, remarked: “This research is good news for bowel cancer patients as further clinical trials investigating the effect of such agents could improve the survival outcome of patients in Northern Ireland and beyond.”

Congratulations to all researchers involved!

Here is some digital press coverage of this story:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/belfast-team-discover-way-to-target-bowel-cancer-cells-thxqltfqw

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/bowel-cancer-breakthrough-discovered-at-queen-s-university-belfast-1.3619261

https://www.rte.ie/news/2018/0906/991937-qub_bowel_cancer/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-45431053

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-6136787/New-bowel-cancer-treatment-improve-survival-rates.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490

http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/news/national/16691154.new-bowel-cancer-treatment-may-improve-survival-rates/

Belfast Telegraph

The Daily Mirror

The Newsletter

MErCuRIC celebrates International Clinical Trials Day 2018

In celebration of International Clinical Trials Day on 18 May 2018, an exhibition showcased cancer clinical studies in the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre. MErCuRIC and all open clinical studies where there was local leadership were promoted.

Patient representatives Margaret Grayson and Dr Edward Goodall were part of the team from the Northern Ireland Cancer Research Consumer Forum (NICRCF), Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Network  (NICTN) and several cancer charities who were on hand to share information and their own experience. There was a great support from staff, patients and visitors.

                 

New Website Launched

Thank you very much for visiting our new website for the MErCuRIC project.

We’ll be updating the site over the next few weeks.