A £500,000 donation will fund research into pioneering treatments for kidney cancer and the use of viruses to fight back against tumours.
The Tony Bramall Charitable Trust, which is based in Harrogate and promotes medical research, has stumped up the money to pay for researchers at the University of Leeds to lead groundbreaking studies.
They aim to find new ways to treat kidney cancers by identifying changes in proteins that make cancer ‘tick’ as well as investigating how using viruses can kill hard-to-beat tumours.
Clinical research fellow Dr Sebastian Trainor has joined a team investigating kidney cancer – an increasingly common cancer for which there are few treatments. He said: “I have seen the devastation that cancer can cause in people’s lives. There is real potential here to make a difference to patients’ quality and length of life.”
PhD students Michelle Wantoch and Matthew Holmes are also contributing to work on using viruses to kill tumours. Similar work on skin cancer cells has shown positive results and it is believed the treatment has the potential to impact on cancers of the brain, liver, bladder, colon, lung and prostate.
Ms Wantoch said: “It’s an exciting new potential therapy which shows great promise.”
The research will be aided by the university’s links with Leeds St James’s University. Dr Naveen Vasudev, honorary consultant in medical oncology at the hospital, added that the gift “is funding vital research and investing in talent”.
The donation supports the university’s £60million Making a World of Difference Campaign, which supports a range of research projects.