We’ve launched a £1 million appeal, with cancer charity Get-A-Head and the University of Birmingham, to fund a programme giving cancer patients access to new drugs quicker than anywhere else in the country.
Drugs trials through pharmaceutical companies can take up to ten years before they reach patients. By working with a team at the Institute of Head and Neck Studies and Education (InHANSE), patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham could receive new treatments after as little as twelve months.
The Accelerated drugs programme tests existing drugs to see if they could have new applications in cancer treatment that were not previously known.
Whilst head and neck and thyroid cancer is the seventh most common cancer in the UK, it does not feature in the list of top 15 most-funded cancers in terms of research, meaning that research into head and neck cancer is poorly supported in the UK. Your donations have been spent on research that is truly ground-breaking and desperately required.
UHB Charity Research Fellow, Nikos, a 33-year-old who has studied and lived in Birmingham for the past 13 years, joined the programme after completing a PhD in Pharmacology and Neuroscience. Always interested in discovering new uses for drugs, Nikos applied his passion to cancer, joining the Accelerated drugs programme at QEHB, hoping that re-purposed drugs can be used to treat cancer.
He said: “Cancer is indiscriminate. It affects people of all ages and all races and indirectly, the patient’s loved ones. This appeal is about speeding up treatment by matching existing drugs, which have already been approved in other conditions like arthritis, to cancers where they have not been tried before.
“If this programme is successful, it means that patients won’t have to wait up to 15 years to receive brand-new drugs, the current 90% failure rate will be avoided and the half-a-billion pound spend will be dramatically reduced.
“Drugs that have been used to fight cholesterol or epilepsy, for example, could help fight cancer – we just need to test them out, which is why we need your support.
“Please help us raise the £1 million we need to match existing drugs, which have already been approved in other conditions such as arthritis, to cancers where they have not been tried before.”
If everyday drugs do have an effect on cancer cells, they will be cheap to produce and easy to supply, enabling patients to receive them quicker.
To support the accelerated drugs programme, please donate by clicking the 'donate to this fund' button at the top right of this page.