Public Release: 

Houston meeting kicks off collaboration to advance cancer research

Imperial College London

HOUSTON - Researchers from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and Imperial College London met here today to launch a joint initiative aimed at advancing scientific discovery of novel cancer therapies. The agreement builds upon professional relationships between clinicians and researchers at both institutions and represents another step forward in the global fight to eradicate cancer.

The collaboration agreement calls for the establishment of a research program focused on identifying new molecular targets for cancer diagnosis and treatments that the two institutions will carry out over the next few years. Both are internationally renowned for their commitment to and excellence in translational medicine, which drives pioneering cancer research from the laboratory to patient therapies at the bedside.

Sir Richard Sykes, Rector of Imperial College London, said, "Cancer research has long been a major focus at Imperial, and collaborations with such prestigious international partners as M. D. Anderson will help to further strengthen exploration of cancer treatments as a key part of Imperial's research strategy."

By working together, Imperial College and M. D. Anderson hope to maximize their strengths in basic science research and clinical programs, accelerating the speed of scientific discoveries. Specifically, M. D. Anderson will look for additional opportunities to identify promising new anticancer agents for clinical development and to investigate new methods for diagnosing and treating cancer. Imperial hopes to expand its range of research programs and further contribute to the improvement of healthcare globally.

According to John Mendelsohn, M.D., President of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, the agreement unites the strengths of two premier institutions. "With the goal of making more rapid progress in cancer diagnosis and treatment, our collaboration will lead to greater insights into the biology of cancer, and help us take advantage of advances in genomics and proteomics to create new diagnostic tests and targeted therapies for cancer."

Both institutions have invested in technology transfer and collaborative applied research initiatives in order to bring research discoveries to the market for the benefit of cancer patients everywhere, Dr. Mendelsohn said.

This agreement, signed on December 15, 2004, is the first of its kind for M. D. Anderson with a world class institution in the United Kingdom and is funded in part by the Department for Trade and Industry's UK-Texas Bioscience Initiative, which aims to promote collaborative research and development in biosciences and related topics between researchers in the UK and the region around Houston, Texas.

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About The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Centre
M. D. Anderson, a non-profit institution founded in 1941, has established an international reputation as one of the world's pre-eminent centres for cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. A multidisciplinary approach, and dedication to translational research, education and prevention are hallmarks of M. D. Anderson, which also holds the distinction of being designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as one of the first three Comprehensive Cancer Centres in the United States. It has been ranked the number one cancer centre in the United States in four of the past five years by U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Hospitals." M. D. Anderson has provided care for more than 600,000 cancer patients since 1944 and 70,000 in the last year alone. Its faculty currently hold more NCI research grants and grant dollars than any other academic centre in the U.S. In 2003, nearly 1,000 new patients from outside the U.S. came to M. D. Anderson for care. www.mdanderson.org

About Imperial College London
Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (11,000) and staff (6,000) of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture. Website: www.imperial.ac.uk

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