A CANCER research project based in Oxford has been given a £94,000 fundraising boost from a charity run by the Freemasons.

The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, based at Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Medicine, is pioneering efforts to find a drug which can treat both cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

It will search through 6,000 drugs already approved for clinical use to see how effective they are at controlling a gene called TFEB, which affects the ability of some cancers to spread through the body.

The same gene can also reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases in mice.

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Its windfall came from the masons’ health and care charity, the Masonic Samaritan Fund, following a poll of freemasons who nominated the charity.

Provincial grand master for the Masonic Province of Oxfordshire, James Hilditch, presented the donation to the institute at its laboratory.

He said: “We were delighted to present £94,000 for Prof Colin Goding to break the barriers between research into cancer and neurodegeneration by identifying treatments that target both diseases.

“Cancer and dementia research is a cause close to many freemasons’ hearts and nominating the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research truly demonstrates our support for high-quality research being delivered in the county.”