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17 July 2014

£500K Investment in Prostate Cancer Research Welcomed by MSP

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed £500,000 for researchers at Dundee University to fund an innovative five year clinical research project into prostate cancer.

The six-figure sum provided by the Scottish Government, Prostate Cancer UK and The Movember Foundation will enable researchers to look at ways to identify how advanced a tumour is, thus reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies and improve diagnosis of aggressive prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in Scotland and Mr Stevenson supports Prostate Cancer UK’s national campaign, ‘Men United v Prostate Cancer’, which uses the language of sport to engage men in the battle against the disease.

He said:

“Each year almost as many men are diagnosed with prostate cancer as women are diagnosed with breast cancer. But research into prostate cancer has suffered from a historic legacy of neglect, leaving tests and treatments trailing decades behind other common cancers - men are dying needlessly due to inadequate methods of testing for the disease.

“I am therefore delighted that the Scottish Government and Prostate Cancer UK, through their partnership with The Movember Foundation, have been able to jointly fund the research, with the work being undertaken at one of Scotland’s top universities. We can, and will, beat prostate cancer – and this announcement is another step towards this ultimate destination.”

Work on the research project will be led by Ghulam Nabi, from the University of Dundee’s School of Medicine. Mr Nabi’s project is to investigate whether MRI and ultrasound scans could be used to reduce the number of biopsies required to confirm a prostate cancer diagnosis, and more easily identify the difference between aggressive and non-aggressive prostate cancers.

Mr Nabi said:

“It is my hope that the work I am able to do with this funding will lead to more streamlined diagnoses, with fewer biopsies and the potential to tell the difference between aggressive and non-aggressive forms of prostate cancer.

“Small studies suggest that using a special type of MRI before a biopsy can help to achieve these aims. This funding allows me and my team to expand these studies into a large trial, with better comparison methods and more rigorous protocols.”
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