Clinical Oncology team win national award

14 May 2013 14:23:42.530
PA 156/13

A research team in Clinical Oncology at The University of Nottingham has been awarded ‘Research Team of the Year 2012’ by Breast Cancer Campaign.

Associate Professor Stewart Martin and his team received the award for their work in advancing knowledge of breast cancer in the last year via their scientific publications.

Breast Cancer Campaign has a pioneering approach to breast cancer research and funds research projects that have the greatest potential to save and improve lives of women with breast cancer.
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Dr Martin said: “This is a very significant accolade that we are very pleased to accept. Having attended a previous Breast Cancer Campaign awards ceremony I found listening to, and chatting with, all the fundraisers, breast cancer survivors and their families and friends both humbling and inspirational ― I came back to the lab with renewed and added vigour. Being a recipient of an award such as this will have a similar effect and we’ll undoubtedly come back and redouble our efforts.”

Dr Martin and his team have received a number of research grants which have contributed to a wide range of life-saving research. Their study of cancer metastasis (how cancer cells spread to different parts of the body) and how certain proteins produced by the cancer cells can make the tumour resistant to therapies, have both contributed to Breast Cancer Campaign’s decision to award the team.

Their most recent discovery is that a protein could help to predict the chances of survival for women with the most limited treatment options. This could lead to the development of a new test in the next five to 10 years, which could predict survival outcomes for women with triple negative breast cancer and basal-like breast cancer. These types of breast cancer affect up to 8,000 women each year in the UK. The information from this test would help guide treatment decisions, which could prolong women’s lives.

“We wish to gain a greater understanding of how cancers spread (metastasise) and what makes certain tumours resistant to treatment,” said Dr Martin. “Having such information will allow us to develop ways to personalise breast cancer treatment, to stratify patients into groups ensuring that they get the most appropriate treatments, and to identify new targets i.e. to develop new treatment methods that will hopefully improve the survival of women suffering from this disease.”

Dr Martin has not only used his expertise to contribute research to Breast Cancer Campaign but has also sat as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Breast Cancer Campaign between 2007 and 2012.

The Clinical Oncology team are not the only University of Nottingham achievers to be recognised by Breast Cancer Campaign for their contribution.

Students from The University of Nottingham were also recognised at the awards. Nottingham Karnival, the University’s student run fundraising group was named ’RAG of the Year’ (Raising and Giving Group) by Breast Cancer Campaign, raising just under £45,000 for the charity. This is the second year running Nottingham Karnival has been honoured at the awards by Breast Cancer Campaign, having previously been recognised for their outstanding contribution. To date, they have raised an incredible £320,000 for the charity.

The teams received their award, presented by Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive of Breast Cancer Campaign, at the House of Lords reception on 9 May she said: “Our annual awards recognise the fantastic achievements of our researchers, fundraisers and supporters who show amazing dedication and passion to help Breast Cancer Campaign beat a disease which affects so many families. Congratulations to Dr Martin and his team for their ground-breaking science and Nottingham Karnival, probably the most enthusiastic RAG fundraisers we have ever had ― their commitment means we can continue our vital work funding research into breast cancer.”

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

More information is available from Charlotte Anscombe, Media Relations Manager & Campaign Manager, Marketing, Communications & Recruitment, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 748 4417,

Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park

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