Welsh Assembly Government
News Article | November 7, 2016
Researchers have found a group of circulating tumour cells in prostate cancer patient blood samples which are linked to the spread of the disease, according to new research* presented at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference in Liverpool. This is the first time these cell types have been shown to be a promising marker for prostate cancer spread. In a study of around 80 samples from men with prostate cancer, scientists at the Barts Cancer Institute at Queen Mary University looked for cells that were gaining the ability to migrate and invade through the body.** Samples with more of these cells were more likely to come from patients whose cancer had spread or was more aggressive. This means that, in the future, these particular cells could potentially be used as a marker to monitor prostate cancer patients and predict if the disease is going to spread -- alongside other monitoring techniques. There are around 46,500 new cases of prostate cancer each year in the UK, and around 11,000 people die from the disease each year. Dr Yong-Jie Lu, lead author from QMUL's Barts Cancer Institute, said: "Our research shows that the number of these specific cells in a patient's sample is a good indicator of prostate cancer spreading. By identifying these cells, which have gained the ability to move through the body, we have found a potential new way to monitor the disease. "If we're able to replicate these studies in larger groups of people, we may be able to one day predict the risk of someone's cancer spreading so they can make more informed treatment decisions." Dr Chris Parker, Chair of the NCRI's Prostate Cancer Clinical Studies Group, said: "There's a need to develop better tests to identify and monitor men with aggressive prostate cancer. This research has found a promising new marker that could one day make it to the clinic to guide treatment decisions." This research was funded by Orchid Cancer Appeal, ANGLE plc and Chinese Scholarship Council. The scientists used a highly innovative cell separation technology Parsortix™, developed by UK company ANGLE plc that is able to capture the circulating tumour cells. For media enquiries contact the NCRI press office on 0151 707 4642/3/4/5 or, out of hours, on 07050-264-059. * Abstract: Capture of circulating tumour cells with epithelial and mesenchymal features for prostate cancer prognosis http://abstracts. ** This is known as epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) is a UK-wide partnership of cancer research funders, established in 2001. Its 19 member organisations work together to accelerate progress in cancer-related research through collaboration, to improve health and quality of life. NCRI works to coordinate research related to cancer, to improve the quality and relevance of the research and to accelerate translation of the research into clinical practice for the benefit of patients. NCRI Partners are: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; Bloodwise; Breast Cancer Now; Cancer Research UK; Children with Cancer UK, Department of Health; Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); Macmillan Cancer Support; Marie Curie; Medical Research Council (MRC); Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Public Health Agency (Research & Development Department); Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund; Prostate Cancer UK; Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation; Scottish Government Health Directorates (Chief Scientist Office); Tenovus Cancer Care; The Wellcome Trust; Welsh Assembly Government (Health and Care Research Wales); and Worldwide Cancer Research. The NCRI Cancer Conference is the UK's largest cancer research forum for showcasing the latest advances in British and international oncological research spanning basic and translational studies to clinical trials and patient involvement. Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) is one of the UK's leading universities, and one of the largest institutions in the University of London, with 21,187 students from more than 155 countries. A member of the Russell Group, we work across the humanities and social sciences, medicine and dentistry, and science and engineering, with inspirational teaching directly informed by our research. In the most recent national assessment of the quality of research, we were placed ninth in the UK (REF 2014). As well as our main site at Mile End - which is home to one of the largest self-contained residential campuses in London - we have campuses at Whitechapel, Charterhouse Square, and West Smithfield dedicated to the study of medicine, and a base for legal studies at Lincoln's Inn Fields. We have a rich history in London with roots in Europe's first public hospital, St Barts; England's first medical school, The London; one of the first colleges to provide higher education to women, Westfield College; and the Victorian philanthropic project, the People's Palace at Mile End. Today, as well as retaining these close connections to our local community, we are known for our international collaborations in both teaching and research. QMUL has an annual turnover of £350m, a research income worth £125m (2014/15), and generates employment and output worth £700m to the UK economy each year. Orchid Cancer Appeal is one of the UK's leading charities working in the area of prostate, testicular and penile cancers. Orchid Cancer Appeal is one of the UK's leading charities working in the area of prostate, testicular and penile cancers. Orchid provides support to people affected by or interested in these cancers through funding a world-class research programme, awareness and education campaigns and a range of vital support services. ANGLE is a specialist medtech company commercialising a disruptive platform technology that can capture cells circulating in blood, such as cancer cells, even when they are as rare in number as one cell in one billion blood cells, and harvest the cells for analysis. ANGLE's cell separation technology is called the ParsortixTM system and it enables a liquid biopsy (simple blood test) to be used to provide the cells of interest. Parsortix is the subject of granted patents in Europe, the United States, Canada, China and Australia and three extensive families of patents are being progressed worldwide. The system is based on a microfluidic device that captures live cells based on a combination of their size and compressibility. Parsortix has a CE Mark for Europe and FDA authorisation is in process for the United States. ANGLE has established formal collaborations with world-class cancer centres. These Key Opinion Leaders are working to identify applications with medical utility (clear benefit to patients), and to secure clinical data that demonstrates that utility in patient studies. Details are available here http://www. The analysis of the cells that can be harvested from patient blood with ANGLE's Parsortix system has the potential to help deliver personalised cancer care offering profound improvements in clinical and health economic outcomes in the treatment and diagnosis of various forms of cancer. The global increase in cancer to a 1 in 3 lifetime incidence is set to drive a multi-billion dollar clinical market. The Parsortix system is designed to be compatible with existing major medtech analytical platforms and to act as a companion diagnostic for major pharma in helping to identify patients that will benefit from a particular drug and then monitoring the drug's effectiveness. As well as cancer, the Parsortix technology has the potential for deployment with several other important cell types in the future. ANGLE stock trades on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol AGL and in New York on the OTC-QX under the ticker symbol ANPCY. For further information please visit: http://www.
News Article | November 8, 2016
TAGGING gold nanoparticles with a small dose of radiation has helped researchers trace the precious metal as it delivers a drug right into the heart of cancer cells, according to new laboratory research* being presented at the 2016 National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer conference. Researchers from the CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology have been working on better ways to transport a drug directly into the control room of cancer cells, where the chromosomes are kept. This specific drug targets a molecule - telomerase - that builds up the protective caps at the end of chromosomes called telomeres. In most cells of the body, telomeres act like an in-built timer to ensure that the cell does not live past its expiry date. Telomeres shorten each time the cell divides. Once a critical length is reached, the cell can no longer divide and it dies. Cancer cells manage to get around this safety check by reactivating telomerase allowing them to continue to grow out of control. One of the biggest hurdles in treating cancer is getting effective drugs into cancer cells, particularly to where the chromosomes are stored. Gold nanoparticles have proven to be well suited to being absorbed into cells, safely delivering drugs that could otherwise be blocked. By engineering the gold nanoparticles and adding the radioactive tracer, the researchers were able to prove that their drug was reaching the desired target in skin cancer cells grown in the lab and was shutting telomerase down, halting cancer's growth. While the radioactive tracer was used to precisely follow the drug in this study, the same method can also be used to deliver a dose of radioactivity to cancer cells, helping to kill them. This second dose is especially powerful because inactivation of telomerase makes cancer cells more sensitive to radiation. Professor Kate Vallis, lead researcher based at the CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology, said: "Gold is precious in more than one way. We have used tiny gold nanoparticles loaded with targeted drugs to kill cancer cells in the laboratory. Our long term goal is to design new treatments for cancer patients based on this promising approach." Sir Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK's chief executive, said: "Gold has been used in medicine for many years and this research adds further insight into its potential. Ensuring that treatment is accurately targeted at cancer and avoids healthy cells is the goal for much of cancer research, and this is an exciting step towards that." Dr Karen Kennedy, Director of the NCRI, said: "Research continues to shed light on how cancer cells behave and how to effectively deliver a lethal payload to the tumour. This exciting research offers that potential and needs further investigation to see how it would be used in patients. The future looks exciting with research such as this improving the way the disease is treated." For media enquiries contact the NCRI press office on 0151 707 4642/3/4/5 or, out of hours, on 07050 264 059. * Gold nanoparticle radiopharmaceuticals for the selective treatment of telomerase-positive tumours http://abstracts. The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) is a UK-wide partnership of cancer research funders, established in 2001. Its 19 member organisations work together to accelerate progress in cancer-related research through collaboration, to improve health and quality of life. NCRI works to coordinate research related to cancer, to improve the quality and relevance of the research and to accelerate translation of the research into clinical practice for the benefit of patients. NCRI Partners are: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; Bloodwise; Breast Cancer Now; Cancer Research UK; Children with Cancer UK, Department of Health; Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); Macmillan Cancer Support; Marie Curie; Medical Research Council (MRC); Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Public Health Agency (Research & Development Department); Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund; Prostate Cancer UK; Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation; Scottish Government Health Directorates (Chief Scientist Office); Tenovus Cancer Care; The Wellcome Trust; Welsh Assembly Government (Health and Care Research Wales); and Worldwide Cancer Research. The NCRI Cancer Conference is the UK's largest cancer research forum for showcasing the latest advances in British and international oncological research spanning basic and translational studies to clinical trials and patient involvement.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: SC1-HCO-06-2016 | Award Amount: 2.04M | Year: 2016
In order to strengthen the sustainability and resilience of health services and systems a unique consortium of governmental and funding organizations plus research institutes, has expressed the ambition to systematically learn from the organisation of care in other settings. Overall objective of TO-REACH is to provide groundwork for an ERA-NET that will contribute to the resilience, effectiveness, equity, accessibility and comprehensiveness of health services and systems. We will do so along two work streams: A) We will develop a research program on cross-border learning from good (or even innovative) models of care and the conditions needed to transfer them to other settings for implementation. It could refer to anywhere in the care chain depending on the priorities as identified in a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) within this project. Conceptual, methodological and empirical advancement will be achieved through 4 meta-questions that will instruct research under the ERA-NET, linking to what counts as good models of care, what are the conditions required for transferability, what are the conditions for up-scaling, and how do they contribute to the performance of health care organisations and systems. B) We will build a platform for funding organizations that allows for collaboration and coordination in the project and projected ERA-NET. This will synchronize priorities and activities, hence improving the quality and applicability of research with a focus on the topic areas as described under A. TO-REACH will pursue five specific objectives: Mapping health system challenges and priorities by synthesizing different materials and stakeholder inputs; Developing a framework and providing a knowledge synthesis on the above-mentioned meta-questions; Establishing sustainable cooperation of research funding bodies and links with other initiatives; Developing a SRA through agenda setting at European and Member State level; Disseminating the results of TO-REACH.
Agency: GTR | Branch: ESRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 100.41K | Year: 2012
The aim of this knowledge exchange project is to set up a new Research-Policy-Practice Hub to create a platform for knowledge exchange and debate across communities that have influence in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Knowledge exchange will be achieved by a set of coordinated online and offline activities that will provide elements of the hub in the first stage of its development. These activities include:
The goal is that the proposed Research-Policy-Practice hub should form a model system that can be applied, not only to ASD but also beyond ASD into other conditions that affect education, health and social services.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: ERANET.2007.1 | Award Amount: 2.11M | Year: 2008
The ERNEST European Research Network on Sustainable Tourism project will address the issue of sustainable development in tourism through coordination and collaboration among regional research programmes. ERNEST will be a horizontal ERA NET action, not directly linked to one specific cooperation theme but with much European added value. The overall objective is to develop and strengthen a framework for coordinating regional research programmes on sustainable tourism. Within this platform regions will share and build on research work already underway at regional level, making it more productive and efficient through exchange and planning and implementation of joint activities. The specific objectives are as follows: identify and exchange information and knowledge on research programmes that regions wish to coordinate; identify within the research programmes elements related to social dialogue (participative processes for programming including all relevant stakeholders) and measurement of tourism impact; define and prepare joint research activities on tourism research; implement joint activities in these fields according to common needs, particularly concentrating on training, exchange and evaluation at an interregional level; fund joint interregional research on sustainable tourism through joint calls; promote productive cooperation and collaboration in research both in terms of interregional cooperation and cooperation at regional level, including public private partnerships; allow partners to define together long-term and ambitious strategies in line with the European Union policy of sustainable development that each region could not easily reach on its own.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.5-1 | Award Amount: 8.51M | Year: 2012
COBWEB will leverage the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR). Concentrating initially on the Welsh Dyfi Biosphere Reserve, we will develop a citizens observatory framework, and then validate the work within the context of the UK National Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) and internationally, within the WNBR; specifically, within Greek and German Reserves. The infrastructure we develop will exploit technological developments in ubiquitous mobile devices, crowd-sourcing of geographic information and the operationalising of standards based SDI such as the UK Location Information Infrastructure. It will enable citizens living within Biosphere Reserves to collect environmental information on a range of parameters including species distribution, flooding and land cover/use. A main driver will be the opportunity to participate in environmental governance. Data quality issues will be addressed by using networks of people as sensors and by analysing observations and measurements in real-time combination with authoritative models and datasets. The citizens observatory framework will integrate with evolving INSPIRE compliant national SDIs and allow the fusion of citizen sourced data with reference data from public authorities in support of policy objectives. To maximise impact, COBWEB will work within the processes of the standards defining organisations. Specifically, we will aim to improve the usability of Sensor Web Enablement standards with mobile devices, develop widespread acceptance of the data quality measures we develop and maximise the commercial appeal of COBWEB outputs. The end result we are aiming for is a toolkit and a set of models that demonstrably works in different European countries and which is accepted as a core information system component of the WNBR. Implementations of COBWEB will act as models for how technology may be used to empower citizens associations in environmental decision making.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-COFUND-FP | Phase: MSCA-COFUND-2014-FP | Award Amount: 19.12M | Year: 2015
Scientists in Wales are efficient, productive, collaborative, impactful and in many cases world leading. Recent evidence shows scientific excellence but a lack of critical mass in areas most likely to drive a knowledge economy through innovation and translation. This application forms the foundation of the Sr Cymru (Stars Wales) II Programme designed to produce a step change in Welsh scientific capacity, building on excellence and investing in early career researchers. This integrated proposal marries Marie Skodowska-Curie COFUND fellowships with European Structural Funds, university, industrial and Welsh Government funding to bring in 140 new fellowships (90 via SIRCIW) in strategic areas including clinical science, engineering, physics, mathematics and applied Social Sciences. The Marie Skodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) programme, Strengthening International Research Capacity in Wales (SIRCIW) will support recruitment of experienced researchers of all nationalities into Wales. Fellows will be given employment contracts at their host university, will be encouraged to spend time out in different sectors, and will benefit from a programme of bespoke and innovative training (through organisations such as the Leadership Foundation and Vox Coaching), to help develop the research leaders of the future. Applications will be driven by fellows themselves. Selection to the programme will be done using tested, merit-based methods and funding decisions will be independent of nationality, discipline, age, career breaks etc. The selection committee will be made up of national & international experts with a broad base of scientific knowledge and experience of funding/training panels. Their assessments will be assisted via the use of external, international, peer review. Membership of the panel will be balanced for gender, age and background. A strict policy for ethical issues will be adhered to via a Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) committee, and programme quality will be monitored with regular reviews.
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 1.22M | Year: 2013
The overarching aim of this project is to explore how community representations produced through creative arts practices (e.g. storytelling, performance, visual art) can be used as forms of evidence to inform health-related policy and service developments. Policies for health improvement tend to focus either on the impact of poverty and deprivation - but with little thought given to historical and cultural context or the experiences of living in these circumstances - or on the prevalence of unhealthy behaviours, with limited attempts to connect these with meaningful ways of life. However, research evidence indicates the need for studies that explore the experiences of people living in deprivation and isolation and find ways to improve dialogue between communities themselves and health policy makers. This study will develop methods for using creative art forms as a mode of communication and knowledge exchange. Through analysis of existing representations of disadvantaged and stigmatised communities in literature, film, etc, and the production of new community self-representations in arts-based workshops, it will explore the relationship between official representations of community health and well-being (e.g. in statistical data) and how communities understand and present their own health and well-being. There will be a focus on the accumulated assets and resources that allow individuals and communities to cope with and navigate real and perceived structural barriers, and on the possibilities of resilience to upheaval, resistance to reputational damage, and the alternative representations that these can stimulate. The project will take place across five distinct case-study communities in Wales, Scotland and England and connect these to relevant policy makers, researchers and arts practitioners in each country. Our understanding of community is informed by a relational view of place which conceptualises community as more of a process than an entity. Although we define communities in terms of spaces that are shared, we fully recognise that the meaning of those spaces will not necessarily be shared. The project will consider how perceptions and experiences of community vary across time and changing circumstances, and how communities and the people living in them are represented in relation to key differences and divisions relating to gender, class, ethnicity and age. Following an inventory and analysis of existing representations of each community, both artistic (e.g. in literature) and formal (e.g. in deprivation indices), each case study will use creative engagement methods (including life mapping, drama, storytelling, and photography) to generate new community self-representations, working in partnership with local arts and health organisations. The engagement process will be documented in ways that allow all participants, though diaries, blogs, or digital soap boxes, to reflect on the process and the dynamics of engagement. In all case studies the final creative representations themselves will be co-authored by the community participants and they will have the final decision on how their own accounts are presented. These new data will be presented to relevant local or national policy makers and service development officials through exhibitions, performances, and digital media. The researchers will evaluate this process, reflecting on the relationship between arts participation and community empowerment, and will examine how community values, participation, self-reliance and resilience are shaped, experienced and articulated, and can ultimately become embedded into policy. Through its rigorous analysis, its development of arts-based research methods, and its conviction that literature and the arts form a valid form of evidence in policy discussions, the research will offer innovative thinking about, and will make a distinctive contribution to, the study and development of community health and well-being.
News Article | March 1, 2017
What: Rt. Honourable Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales, will visit the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square as part of St David’s Day celebration. St David's Day is celebrated every year on March 1st. It is the day when the people of Wales celebrate their patron saint, St David. In honor of the occasion, Rt. Honourable Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales will ring the Closing Bell. Social Media: For multimedia features such as exclusive content, photo postings, status updates and video of bell ceremonies, please visit our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/NASDAQ. For photos from ceremonies and events, please visit our Instagram page: http://instagram.com/nasdaq For livestream of ceremonies and events, please visit our YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/nasdaq/live For news tweets, please visit our Twitter page: http://twitter.com/nasdaq For exciting viral content and ceremony photos, please visit our Tumblr page: http://nasdaq.tumblr.com/ Webcast: A live stream of the Nasdaq Closing Bell will be available at: https://new.livestream.com/nasdaq/live or http://www.nasdaq.com/about/marketsitetowervideo.asx Photos: To obtain a hi-resolution photograph of the Market Close, please go to http://business.nasdaq.com/discover/market-bell-ceremonies and click on the market close of your choice. About Welsh Government The Welsh Government is the devolved government for Wales in the UK and is responsible for health, education, the environment and securing economic growth. First Minister, Rt. Hon. Carwyn Jones is visiting the US to promote inward investment in Wales and supporting Welsh exports to help businesses grow. The special relationship between Wales and North America is strong. Over 250 companies from North America invest in Wales and many Welsh companies are increasingly investing and doing business in North America. In addition, Welsh universities and centers of excellence have developed links with North American universities - both for academic exchange and for joint research purposes. Before his visit, Rt. Hon. Carwyn Jones said: “For Wales, the special relationship is about building on the strong cultural and trade links that already exist between our two countries. “Wales has long been a destination of choice for many American businesses and we want to welcome even more in the future. Equally, Welsh businesses have been successful in selling to the United States across a range of sectors and I believe we can do even better in the future. “In my discussions with American businesses, politicians and diplomats, I will be raising the importance of further developing free trade between our countries and the removal of barriers, to make trade between us easier and quicker.” About Nasdaq Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) is a leading provider of trading, clearing, exchange technology, listing, information and public company services across six continents. Through its diverse portfolio of solutions, Nasdaq enables clients to plan, optimize and execute their business vision with confidence, using proven technologies that provide transparency and insight for navigating today's global capital markets. As the creator of the world's first electronic stock market, its technology powers more than 85 marketplaces in 50 countries, and 1 in 10 of the world's securities transactions. Nasdaq is home to approximately 3,800 listed companies with a market value of $10.1 trillion and nearly 18,000 corporate clients. To learn more, visit: business.nasdaq.com.
News Article | December 16, 2016
Brain connections that play a key role in complex thinking skills show the poorest health with advancing age, new research suggests. Connections supporting functions such as movement and hearing are relatively well preserved in later life, the findings show. Scientists carrying out the most comprehensive study to date on ageing and the brain's connections charted subtle ways in which the brain's connections weaken with age. Knowing how and where connections between brain cells - so-called white matter - decline as we age is important in understanding why some people's brains and thinking skills age better than others. Worsening brain connections as we age contribute to a decline in thinking skills, such as reasoning, memory and speed of thinking. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh analysed brain scans from more than 3,500 people aged between 45 and 75 taking part in the UK Biobank study. Researchers say the data will provide more valuable insights into healthy brain and mental ageing, as well as making contributions to understanding a range of diseases and conditions. The study was published in Nature Communications journal. Dr Simon Cox, of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology (CCACE), who led the study, said: "By precisely mapping which connections of the brain are most sensitive to age, and comparing different ways of measuring them, we hope to provide a reference point for future brain research in health and disease. "This is only one of the first of many exciting brain imaging results still to come from this important national health resource." Professor Ian Deary, Director of CCACE, said: "Until recently, studies of brain scans with this number of people were not possible. Day by day the UK Biobank sample grows, and this will make it possible to look carefully at the environmental and genetic factors that are associated with more or less healthy brains in older age." Professor Paul Matthews of Imperial College London, Chair of the UK Biobank Expert Working Group, who was not involved in the study, said: "This report provides an early example of the impact that early opening of the growing UK Biobank Imaging Enhancement database for access by researchers world-wide will have. "The large numbers of subjects in the database has enabled the group to rapidly characterise the ways in which the brain changes with age - and to do so with the confidence that large numbers of observations allow. "This study highlights the feasibility of defining what is typical, to inform the development of quantitative MRI measures for decision making in the clinic." The University of Edinburgh Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology receives funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). UK Biobank was established by the Wellcome Trust, MRC, Department of Health, Scottish Government and the Northwest Regional Development Agency. It has had funding from the Welsh Assembly Government, British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK. UK Biobank is hosted by the University of Manchester and supported by the NHS. Article: Ageing and brain white matter structure in 3,513 UK Biobank participants, Simon R. Cox, Stuart J. Ritchie, Elliot M. Tucker-Drob, David C. Liewald, Saskia P. Hagenaars, Gail Davies, Joanna M. Wardlaw, Catharine R. Gale, Mark E. Bastin & Ian J. Deary, Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/ncomms13629, published online 15 December 2016.