Dr Anne Thomas, consultant oncologist, Dr Simon Oldroyd, of Hope Against Cancer and Dr Nicky Rudd, medical lead cancer, heamotology and oncology.
Building work is under way on a cutting edge cancer trials unit, set to open its doors this spring at the Leicester Royal Infirmary.
The Hope Against Cancer Clinical Trials Unit will be the first of its kind in the East Midlands and will be able to provide treatment for up to six patients at a time.
Clinicians hope to use the £400,000 unit to develop drugs which only attack cancerous cells and not regular tissues, therefore having less side effects on patients and being more effective than current cancer treatments.
Dr Nicky Rudd, clinical director of cancer services at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: ‘The construction of the unit is a very exciting new development. Our aim is for Leicester to become an established major international centre for oncology research.
‘Building work starting marks the beginning of this exciting project and means that our research work can take place in a purpose built area, designed specifically for our needs.’
Trials clinicians hope to run include a new vaccine therapy for patients with advanced melanoma, a new targeted therapy for breast cancer and a new tablet treatment for chronic leukaemia.
Clinicians hope to use the centre to research cancer of the pancreas, lung and kidney as well as melanomas, leukaemia and lymphoma.
An area within the current Osborne Building is being converted to create the unit which is being funded by Leicester’s Hospitals and Hope Against Cancer, a charity launched in 2002 that aims to raise funds for local cancer research in Leicestershire and Rutland.