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Sir Bobby Robson Fund supporters buy £438,000 advanced cancer scanner
THE latest piece of cancer-fighting technology funded by the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has been handed over to researchers.
The ImageStream Imaging Flow Cytometer, which cost £438,000, will give scientists an insight into how the disease spread around the body and how effectively new treatments are working.
The new Cytometer - known as an ISx - allows scientists to see cancer cells that may be circulating in a patient's blood and is able to analyse up to 4,000 individual cells a second.
The ISx is housed in Newcastle University's Northern Institute for Cancer Research in the Paul O'Gorman Building, officially opened by Sir Bobby Robson in 2005.
It works like a microscope taking high quality fluorescent images after cancerous cells in a blood sample are tagged with a fluorescent marker.
Researchers can then identify cancerous cells that may have become separated from a tumour so they can study whether they are responsible for the spread of cancer around the body.
It will primarily help with the drug trials being undertaken in the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
His widow, Lady Elsie Robson said: "This new equipment will help patients in the Sir Bobby Centre and I understand the Leukaemia Research Group will also find it very helpful. It's something the medical trustees of the Foundation strongly recommended we buy and it's wonderful to see it up and running."
Dr David Jamieson a research associate at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research said: "It will make an enormous difference to our work and we are very grateful."
"Many of the drug trials are being used in patients for the first time and new drugs are designed to work in a specific way in tumour cells," he added.
Scientists want to use the IsX to work out whether the drugs are working as predicted.
The purchase has only been possible thanks to support for the charity from thousands of fundraisers and help from the Newcastle Building Society, which made a record contribution of 500,000 to the charity in the last year.
To make a donation visit sirbobbyrobsonfoundation.org.uk or send a cheque to Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Room 203, Cheviot Court, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN.
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