TEESSIDE University has announced a new partnership with a research unit into rare cancers.

RareCan will work in partnership with The National Horizons Centre, Teesside University’s centre of excellence for the biosciences and healthcare sector, to build specific cohorts of samples and data for rare cancers for future research projects and clinical trials.

The RareCan BioResource, based at Newcastle University, recently received approval from the NHS Research Ethics Committee.

It will store biological samples for use in research projects into rare cancers, bridging the gap in available, high-quality resources for researchers.

Researchers at the National Horizons Centre are using cutting-edge approaches to identify mutations in a subset of tissue samples to enrich and expand knowledge and data available for these rare cancers.

RareCan is the first and only company using technology to bring together consenting patients, secure data, and bio-samples, enabling researchers to develop new and improved treatments for rare cancers, changing people’s lives.

Professor Vikki Rand, Professor of Biosciences within Teesside University’s School of Health & Life Sciences and Director of Research at the National Horizons Centre, said: “Through fundamental and applied research, the National Horizons Centre at Teesside University prides itself on discovering diseases earlier, developing novel treatments and delivering life-saving medicines quicker, safer and more affordably.

“RareCan’s mission to accelerate research into rare cancers is closely aligned with our research interests and we are pleased to be a part of their journey and growth.”

In the last month, researchers from the National Horizons Centre were also involved in two major studies which could lead to a breakthrough in the treatment of rare cancers.

The international studies, published in Molecular Cell and Leukaemia, made important discoveries in understanding the biology of aggressive lymphomas which could lead to new patient risk stratification and novel approaches to therapy.

The research unravelled the role of mutations in genes present in the development and progression of lymphomas and highlighted two specific genes which may identify patients who could be more receptive to treatment.

RareCan’s new BioResource will store tissue samples from rare cancer patients collected during surgery and will be accessible to scientists around the globe undertaking research into the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of rare cancers.

Professor Andy Hall, Founding Director and Chief Scientific Officer at RareCan, said it was exciting news.

He said: “Receiving approval from the Research Ethics Committee is a pivotal moment in our growth and the evolution of RareCan.”

“In both the lab and the clinic, access to data from patients with cancer is essential to increase our understanding of how a cancer arises and how it can be prevented, diagnosed or treated.”

Visit rarecan.com.

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