Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Unit at the Christie

John Leech MP with Jim Martin, Chairman of The Christie

This morning I attended the offical opening of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Unit at The Christie.
This is an innovative project between some of the worlds top clinicians and scientists, led by Tony Howell (Director of Breakthrough Research Unit, Manchester) together with the University of Manchester because of the University’s leading reputation for cancer research. It is based within the Manchester Cancer Research Centre in the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research and is adjacent to the Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Didsbury.

I found the presentation fascinating as it delivered a clear message that Research and Treatment experts collaborating in such a way can drastically improve chances of survival of this terrible disease by integrating reseach and treatment studies on one site. They aim to find treatments which work in a totally new way – by stopping cancer cells using healthy cells to grow and spread.

The Research Unit has been set up with an initial £500,000 donation but money is needed to support this groundbreaking project over the next five years and the Breakthrough Research Unit are launching a £5m appeal for the Research Unit tonight at Manchester’s Town Hall.

It is really important that The Christie is continued to be given this freedom of research in order remain as one of the world’s top research centres in fighting Cancer. I spoke with Breakthrough at the last Lib Dem conference about their plans and its great to see their plans working out. It is also brilliant to see more experts and researchers in the field coming to work at this Research Unit.

It was unfortunate that due to a vote in Parliament this afternoon, I could not spend more time there talking to the enthusiastic staff and supporters.

To find out how to help Breakthrough Breast Cancer reach its £5m target, visit breakthrough.org.uk/manchester or call 020 7025 2400.

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