THE Cancer Research UK Centre in Oxford has received a £5m boost after being awarded new status as a “major centre”.

The base, at the Old Road Campus Research Building in Roosevelt Drive, is now one of three of Cancer Research UK’s “major centres”.

The centre is run as a partnership by staff from Oxford University, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and Cancer Research UK.

It is designed to harness world-leading research to speed up treatments and increase cancer cure rates.

The charity itself decided to nominate the Oxford centre as a “major centre”, meaning it will be given extra funding, starting with this initial £5m.

Priorities include the development of treatments and investment is designed to bring advances in surgery, radiotherapy and drug development.

Professor Gillies McKenna, director of the Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre, said: “We look forward to making the most of our role as a major centre and leader in cancer research in the UK.

“The new initiative will bring researchers and clinicians together in sustainable networks with longer term investment.

Dr Iain Foulkes, executive director for research funding, added: “The development of these major centres will accelerate national and international collaborations and improve treatments for patients.

“In each location, we are developing cutting-edge approaches in how we treat the disease, be that the detection of individual tumour cells in the blood that allow us to monitor the disease or precision radiotherapy.

“With these centres, the UK goes from strength to strength in supporting the best cancer research in the world.”