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The University of Southampton

Prostate Cancer UK awards Southampton researchers crucial grant thanks to Movember funds

Published: 22 May 2015

Researchers from the University of Southampton have received a grant of over £230,000 to explore a new way to reduce unnecessary treatment of non-aggressive prostate cancers.

The grant is part of a £2m wave of Movember Foundation Project Grants and Pilot Awards made by Prostate Cancer UK.

Professor George Lewith from Primary Care at the University, who will be leading the 2.5 year project alongside Professor Alison Richardson from Health Sciences, says: “Many prostate cancers are unlikely to go on to cause harm, so some men are given the choice to simply monitor their cancer through a process called ‘active surveillance’ rather than have unnecessary radical treatment that may cause incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Unfortunately, there is currently no conclusive method for predicting, at this early stage, whether someone’s stable cancer will become aggressive.

“Because of this uncertainty, those men who chose to monitor their cancer often suffer significant anxiety. This can become so intense that it leads them to have surgery, even though their cancer is stable and has not progressed. This project aims to test the practicality of offering both internet and group support from specialist cancer nurses in a programme called PROACTIVE to help reduce anxiety and distress. We hope this will reduce the number of men choosing to have radical treatment that they do not need.”

The grant was awarded via a competitive process and was subject to detailed assessment from international experts and the Prostate Cancer UK Research Advisory Committee. All of the projects which are to receive funding were chosen because of their extremely high quality and relevance to men with prostate cancer.

Sarah Coghlan, UK Country Director, Movember Foundation, comments: “It's through the efforts of almost 4,000 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas in Southampton and thousands more across the country that we have been able to fund such vital research to address the key challenges in prostate cancer. With continued support we can do more so that fewer men die from prostate cancer, and those that live can enjoy happier, healthier, longer lives.”

Dr Iain Fram,e Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK, says: “Through our ongoing partnership with the Movember Foundation, we have been able to fund another bumper round of high quality research grants this year, focussed on the key issues facing prostate cancer - from identifying men at risk of developing aggressive forms to discovering new treatments for advanced disease.

“However the story doesn’t end here. We really need more help to build on the great work that is already under way if we are to accelerate the process of conquering the most common cancer in men. As part of our ongoing Men United campaign, we are calling on people across the country to make this summer count by doing something with their friends to raise funds and help beat the disease. Prostate cancer takes 10,000 lives every year. By pulling together we can stop it in its tracks.”

Prostate Cancer UK’s summer activities include everything from poker nights to golf, cycling, walking, climbing and even rock festivals. Find out how to get involved here


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