Plaque marking breast cancer link-up unveiled at Leeds University

The plaque unveiling.
The plaque unveiling.
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A historic partnership designed to boost the fight against breast cancer has been commemorated by a new plaque.

It will mark work by the University of Leeds and charity Breast Cancer Campaign on a UK-first tissue bank, which the university is co-ordinating.

The plaque was unveiled by V Craig Jordan, a University of Leeds alumnus who developed revolutionary breast cancer drug Tamoxifen, at the Wellcome Trust Brenner Building at St James’s University Hospital.

Prof Valerie Speirs, of the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds, said: “As we try and win the fight breast cancer, we are extremely grateful for the support of the charity Breast Cancer Campaign and we are proud to have such a vital resource as the Breast Cancer Campaign Tissue Bank here in Leeds.”

Lisa Wilde, director of research at Breast Cancer Campaign, added: “The Breast Cancer Campaign Tissue Bank is the UK’s first ever national breast cancer tissue bank and a fundamental step towards finding a cure for breast cancer.

“It is thanks to our founding partners ASDA Tickled Pink and Walk the Walk – as well as our incredible supporters – that funding for such an incredible initiative continues to be made possible.

“The ongoing work of the tissue bank will play a vital role in helping us reach the milestone that by 2050 breast cancer will be overcome and outlived.”

Tissue banking in the UK began in Yorkshire in the early 1950s as a collaboration between the university and Leeds General Infirmary.

The Breast Cancer Campaign Tissue Bank, which was founded in 2010, safely stores tissue and blood samples from donors as well as key information about a patient’s breast cancer.

From the samples, researchers across the country can take details including family history, treatments and effectiveness.

The aim is to study how and why breast cancer develops and spreads, and to devise the best possible treatments.

Breast Cancer Campaign has invested over £2 million in the tissue bank, which also has bases at Barts Cancer Institute at the University of London, the University of Dundee, the University of Nottingham and the University of Sheffield.

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