UCLan works with medical research company to speed up prostate cancer screening
University researchers to perform key tests on potentially life-saving diagnosis test
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is working with cancer researchers to develop an early and non-invasive test for prostate cancer.
One in eight men in the UK will get prostate cancer and in the majority of cases it can be cured if caught in time. Medical research company Cambridge Oncometrix is developing a new way to rapidly test for prostate cancer using elements naturally occurring in the prostate fluid that dramatically change with malignancy. Biomedical researchers from UCLan are working with the company to perform rigorous tests to help validate the biomarkers and bring the technology to the market.
"This is an exciting collaboration that genuinely has the potential to save lives. Cambridge Oncometrix is on the verge of developing a piece of kit that will dramatically speed up the diagnosis process for prostate cancer."
Dr Carole Rolph, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Biochemistry, commented: "This is an exciting collaboration that genuinely has the potential to save lives. Cambridge Oncometrix is on the verge of developing a piece of kit that will dramatically speed up the diagnosis process for prostate cancer. Here at UCLan we are delighted to play our part by working with Lancashire’s hospitals who will provide clinical samples for us to test substances, known as biomarkers, which are present in the fluids derived from the prostate gland and change when it becomes cancerous."
Cambridge Oncometrix CEO Maxim Rossmann said: "Our long-term goal is to make our product widely available through the NHS and to do this it has to undergo an intense period of testing. Both UCLan and some of the hospitals in Lancashire will play a key role in this process. Most men go to the doctors with prostate problems when it's too late and our simple accurate test can help to solve this problem."
Biomedical master's student Joe Mather will perform some of the essential tests. He commented: "I jumped at the opportunity to get involved in such a ground-breaking project. Having met prostate cancer sufferers who would've benefitted from this type of test I realise what a difference this technology can make."
"More than 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year and 11,000 will die from it so we need to bring this potentially life-saving research under the spotlight."
Kevin Vardy, a terminal prostate cancer sufferer whose online campaign to introduce a national prostate screening programme attracted more than 50,000 signatures, has backed the research and is already working with UCLan pharmacy and biomedical sciences students through the University’s Comensus project which links services users with those training to work in health and social care.
The 53-year-old said: “Had this type of screening been around three years ago my cancer may have been treatable so anything that speeds up and simplifies the diagnosis process can only be positive. It’s great news that UCLan is helping Cambridge Oncometrix advance this technology; more than 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year and 11,000 will die from it so we need to bring this potentially life-saving research under the spotlight.”
UCLan will work with Cambridge Oncometrix for the next 12 months on the project. The company has recently won the Pitch@Palace People’s Choice Award, a national event established by the Duke of York which gives tech companies the opportunity to share their business ideas with a global audience of influencers.