Editor's Viewpoint: Unsung heroes of the war on cancer
Cancer is an illness which strikes fear into the hearts of many people and their families.
However, there is also the inspiring news that patients in Northern Ireland are taking part in drug trials which, if successful, could help others all over the world.
This week, the Belfast Telegraph is revealing details of this important work which is helping to develop pioneering cancer treatments. Our readers will share the behind-the-scenes experiences at the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre at the City Hospital, Belfast.
The doctors and scientists at this centre, which is funded by Cancer Research UK and our own Department of Health, are working in association with cancer experts in more than 50 countries around the world. The research being carried on in Northern Ireland is part of 100 different projects being funded by the charity, whose experts have already helped to produce no fewer than 19 of the 20 top drugs which are currently used to treat cancer patients.
One of the main aims of the Belfast centre is to turn the important discoveries of basic science into actual treatments for cancer as quickly as possible. This is done by taking medical advances gained from the trials, and bringing them from the laboratory to the clinic. It is impressive to learn that local people are taking part in the trials for possible new treatments, even though they are aware that such experimental therapy may not help them personally.
They are doing so because they realise that the knowledge gained from these trials may be used to assist other people. Everyone involved deserves the highest praise, and this newspaper is proud to bring this important information, and the heart-warming stories, to our readers today and during the rest of this week.