The Peel Group has agreed a £1m partnership with The Christie charity to help fund vital research into urological cancers.
The pledge from the infrastructure, transport and real estate investment group will see two clinical researchers join The Christie’s Uro-oncology department to oversee new studies in prostate, bladder and kidney cancer.
The Peel Group will donate £200,000 a year for five years to fund the posts which it hopes will lead to advances in research that will have a positive impact on the future treatment of patients.
Deputy Chairman of the Peel Group, Neil Lees said: “As a major contributor to the regional economy we wanted to pledge our support to an initiative which would have a positive impact on many people’s lives. We are delighted and excited to support this important research into urological cancers and we hope the legacy of this research benefits patients for many years to come.”
The Christie’s Uro-oncology department is at the forefront of cancer diagnosis and treatment in the UK and is a global leader in research.
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting men, while bladder cancer is in the top 10 most common cancers for both men and women, along with kidney cancer.
Marie Toller, Head of Major Relationships at The Christie charity, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to announce this partnership between The Peel Group and The Christie charity.
“Such generosity will fund two vital research posts across the next five years which will help The Christie in its quest to be one of the top five cancer research centres in the world.
“The Christie charity relies on the generosity of individuals and organisations which allows us to support the ground-breaking work of the Trust and we are very grateful to The Peel Group.”
Prostate cancer patient David Hutson is currently taking part in the Momentum study, becoming the first patient to be treated at The Christie using the MR-guided linear accelerator (MR-linac).
This is the first machine of its kind to do real-time MRI scans while it targets X-ray radiation beams at tumours, making it more accurate and reducing side effects.
He said: “I’m proud to become the first patient to be treated at The Christie as part of a research trial and it is good to know that such investment is being put to good use in researching cancers like mine here at The Christie.
“I feel that it is vital we continue to see important research being carried out here so that patients can have more specific treatments that lead to better outcomes.”
The posts will have a direct impact on ongoing research, new studies and clinical trials. The Christie research division has more than 650 open trials and is one of the biggest cancer clinical trials centres in Europe.
Professor Ananya Choudhury, Chair and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Oncology, said: “Such significant investment is extremely welcome and will allow us to further our understanding of urological cancers.
“We have a long and proud history of research in this field and in order to better understand these types of cancer we need to continue to invest in academic talent.
“We have made some significant strides in research and this wonderful partnership will help us continue to strive for further improvements to cancer treatment.”
Professor Noel Clarke, Consultant Urological Surgeon, said: “We are very grateful to The Peel Group for this investment and we are delighted to be able to invest in two new research posts which we hope will have a significant impact on our research into urological cancers.”
“In order to continue to be at the forefront of cancer research and treatment, The Christie must continue to develop its academic and training capabilities, with scientists working alongside clinical teams. This funding will help us immensely in reaching our goals.”
The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to our patients and their families. The charity has more than 53,000 supporters who helped raise £13.9m last year.
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust was the first specialist trust to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ twice (in 2016 and 2018) by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It referred to The Christie as ‘a leader in cancer care’ and ‘a pioneer in developing innovative solutions to cancer care.’ The CQC praised the Trust’s staff which it said ‘go the extra mile to meet the needs of patients and their families’ and that they were ‘exceptionally kind and caring.’ In 2017, the CQC rated The Christie as the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England.