ACT on Cancer

A new fundraising campaign aims to raise £10 million over 3 years to improve care for cancer patients at Addenbrooke's.

ACT on Cancer is a new fundraising campaign by Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT), the dedicated charity for Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie Hospitals, to transform the treatment and care offered to cancer patients in the region. 

Addenbrooke’s is proud that its clinical outcomes for cancer patients are among the best in the country. However, due to the growing population, it is predicted that the hospital will see over 3,300 more individual cancer patients a year by 2020, so ambitious plans are needed to provide the best patient experience.

The aim of the ACT on Cancer campaign is to ensure that patients receive the very best services, using the latest advances in research and technology, in improved spaces which better facilitate excellence in care.

The fundraising initiative, which launched last week, is focused on improving cancer services in three key areas.

A new Oncology Day Unit is a major priority to replace the current cramped and outdated conditions. Investment in modern, expanded clinical facilities is urgently needed to provide a better patient experience when using the cancer services and to ensure that the hospital can accommodate the growing numbers of cancer patients that are predicted in the future. Around 4,000 new cancer patients a year currently receive treatment at Addenbrooke’s and this figure is rising by between 5 and 10 per cent each year.

The campaign is also aiming to improve prostate cancer services by funding a new biopsy machine, which is less invasive and more accurate in detecting prostate cancer. Currently, men with suspected prostate cancer are diagnosed by means of a random biopsy which can miss some cases of the disease. A new device called Biopsee, which has been jointly developed in Cambridge and Heidelberg, combines two diagnostic tools – an ultrasound scan combined with an MRI scan. This produces a three dimensional view of the prostate gland that accurately identifies the cancerous areas. The images are then used to guide the surgeon to the precise site for taking a biopsy for further analysis. Tests of the new method have shown that it is more accurate at detecting prostate cancer, and it is less invasive for patients and produces fewer side effects.

Funds will also be used to develop a personalized approach to breast cancer medicine, which will ensure that patients receive the best possible treatment for their type of cancer. Recent scientific advances have identified that breast cancer can be categorised into ten distinct genetic subtypes. The next step in translating this ground-breaking research into clinical practice is to accurately determine which genetic subtype a patient belongs to and to develop a personalised treatment plan based on their genetic barcode. The campaign funds will be used to improve diagnosis and offer personalised treatment programmes to the 400 women each year who are referred to the Cambridge Breast Unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

The Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust has given substantial support for cancer care and research at Addenbrooke's Hospital in the past, including the MRI scanner, robotic surgical systems and CT scanners, and the funds to build the Cambridge Breast Cancer Research Unit. The ACT on Cancer campaign will ensure that Addenbrooke's can continue to offer excellent, cutting edge clinical care for cancer patients.

Find out more about the ACT on Cancer campaign

17 Oct 2013