Over 200 of the world's top cancer specialists will be in Belfast this week to share their knowledge at an international cancer symposium organised by Queen's University.
The event, being hosted by the Centre for Cell Biology and Cancer Research (CCRCB) tomorrow and Thursday, will be attended by leading academics from across America, Australia and Europe, including those from Harvard Medical School in Boston and from Oxford and Cambridge universities, it was confirmed today.
One in three people in Northern Ireland will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their life and the conference aims to build on international links to improve cancer treatments for sufferers.
Professor Peter Gregson, vice-chancellor of Queen's University, said: “Cancer is a disease feared around the world. Its impact is global.
“It therefore demands a global response, a response where leading researchers work together across academic disciplines and geographical frontiers.
“We are pleased to bring together leading academics and researchers from across the world to discuss innovative scientific and medical research that will help those who suffer from cancer.”
The symposium has been organised by Professor Dennis McCance, director of the CCRCB, and who leads a team of around 250 staff.
He said: “This event reflects CCRCB's achievements in cancer research and highlights our aspirations to see our knowledge about basic research translated into better and more effective treatments for patients.
“Through clinical trials we are working to offer patients new treatment options which will have the best outcomes for them. We are using novel ways to select treatments and personalise or tailor them to the patient's particular mutations.”
The calibre of speakers attending the conference and the international links the centre had formed demonstrate their oncology work was considered to be of a world-class standard, he said.
CCRCB is currently carrying out around 50 national and international clinical trials into various cancers with the aim of offering patients new treatment options which will have the best outcomes for them, as well as fewer and less severe side effects.