Despite Brexit obstacles, the UK is backed to find a ‘game-changing’ cure for cancer.
A CANCER breakthrough could be on the horizon, as the new director of the UK’s Institute of Cancer Research has encouraged British scientists to thrive despite the challenges posed by Brexit.
According to the latest numbers, more than 85 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been provided across the UK, with 72 percent of Britons now completely vaccinated. Vaccines have avoided roughly 60,000 deaths, 22 million illnesses, and 52,600 hospitalizations, according to data from Public Health England (PHE). It comes after years of heroic work by universities like Oxford, whose scientists collaborated with pharmaceutical AstraZeneca to develop a vaccine in months rather than years.
Some have questioned whether this may lead to comparable monumental advances in other areas of medicine, resulting in a slew of “game-changing” discoveries.
Professor Kristian Helin, the Institute for Cancer Research’s new chief executive and president, believes there are lessons to be learned from the success.
“The difference between this virus and cancer is that Covid is, by and large, one disease with a very well-understood genome,” he told Times Higher Education.
“Cancer is far more complex; there are more than 400 forms of sickness for which medicines must be developed.”
Regardless of the differences, the Danish researcher believes the epidemic will assist accelerate cancer research.
“It demonstrates the importance of fundamental research – basic research done over many years allowed vaccine researchers who weren’t working on coronavirus to solve this essential issue,” he continued.
“Fundamental biological research is similar in that scientists focusing on cancer and other diseases may create distinct strategies for diagnosing and treating cancer.
“Over the last 20 years, we have made significant progress in cancer research.
“Seeing the influence of science and treatments on people’s lives – at the ICR, an institution that spans the entire spectrum of activities – is enormous.
“Now that I have the keys, I can help facilitate what is already excellent research.”
Many are warning that UK cancer research faces a number of key obstacles, including Brexit, which is reported to be making it increasingly difficult to draw world-class European experts to the UK.
The pandemic is also claimed to be causing a funding dilemma.
“Brinkwire Summary News” was announced by Cancer Research UK last year.