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Leading the way on cancer prevention and early detection

Manchester is home to a dedicated prevention and early detection (PED) research initiative, which is designed to save lives and overstretched NHS resources.

Approximately 6,500 people die each year from cancer in Greater Manchester – a figure which is 10% higher than the UK average. Lung cancer causes more premature deaths in Greater Manchester than all other cancers combined.

But many cancers are preventable – 42% of cancer cases could be prevented by lifestyle and other factors.

During the launch of the Manchester-based PED research initiative in September 2016, Professor Salvador Moncada, Director of the Faculty's Cancer Research Domain, outlined the key areas the PED research community in Manchester will focus on initially – lung, breast, colorectal/bowel and gynaecological.

Professor Moncada estimates that the NHS could save £44 million a year in treatment costs if these four cancers were diagnosed more quickly.

Professor Salvador Moncada, The University of Manchester

"All the partners in the new programme will be shining a spotlight on the issue of cancer prevention and early detection, and our scientists and researchers will be utterly focused on developing order of magnitude breakthroughs in this crucial area of cancer treatment"

Professor Salvador Moncada / Cancer Research Domain Director

"In association with other partners in The University of Manchester’s cancer beacon – a ground-breaking collaboration designed to push cancer research to its furthest boundaries – all the partners in the new programme will be shining a spotlight on the issue of cancer prevention and early detection, and our scientists and researchers will be utterly focused on developing order of magnitude breakthroughs in this crucial area of cancer treatment", said Professor Moncada.

The Christie Hospital, Manchester
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

The PED focus is headed by The Christie NHS Foundation Trust – Europe's biggest single-site cancer centre with one of the largest trials portfolio, with over 550 active trials.

"The need for such collaborative working is clear; people’s lives depend on it”, says Professor Moncada. "When bowel cancer is diagnosed at the earliest stage, more than nine out of ten people survive at least 10 years. If diagnosed at late stage, however, the survival rate is fewer than one in 10 people."

The renewed focus on PED has been made possible in part by the recent £28.5 million National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funding award for the Manchester Biomedical Research Centre.

The Christie and the University of Manchester are both partners of Manchester Academic Health Science Centre. The Department of Health accredited Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) helps to improve the health of Greater Manchester's 2.8 million population through the integration of leading research, excellence in medical and healthcare education, and outstanding patient care.

Cancer research is a strategic priority for the Faculty and one of the University’s research beacons.