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Award from Prostate Cancer Foundation to scientists on Norwich Research Park

04 September 2012

The Prostate Cancer Foundation have awarded $1M to the Institute of Food Research and University of East Anglia to study the effects of broccoli consumption on prostate cancer.

Professor Richard Mithen and Dr Maria Traka will be leading the research at the Institute of Food Research, in collaboration with Professor Colin Cooper from the University of East Anglia, a leading cancer genetics expert. Mr Robert Mills and Professor Richard Ball from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital will also contribute to the project.

Professor Cooper, supported by the Big C charity, has recently joined UEA’s Norwich Medical School and School of Biological Sciences. He said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK - with more than 35,000 cases diagnosed each year. Around 11,000 men in the UK die from the disease.

“It has long been thought that what we eat can play a part in the likelihood of developing prostate cancer but the responsible dietary components have not yet been identified.”

Professor Richard Mithen said: “The results of this study could help men by providing evidence that diets rich in cruciferous vegetables or sulforaphane can reduce the likelihood of metastatic cancer, leading to the provision of higher quality dietary advice. It will also result in a greater understanding of metabolic and gene expression changes in prostate tissue that may lead to better drug development.”

“The receipt of this ‘Challenge’ award from the Prostate Cancer Foundation is very exciting news for Norwich Research Park and testament to the innovative research carried out by scientists in our partner institutions,” said Matthew Jones, Chief Operating Officer, Norwich Research Park.

“The nine funding awards have only been given to those working in cross-disciplinary areas of research with near-term patient benefits. This is further evidence of the value seen by an increasing number of organisations in the unique combination of expertise on Norwich Research Park, ranging from fundamental research through to clinical trials and we are delighted by this endorsement.”

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