OXFORD scientists have been awarded a major cash boost to pioneer new radiotherapy technologies and techniques that could help more people survive cancer in the future.

Experts from the Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre are set to receive £3.5 million over the next five years.

The city has been chosen as one of just seven centres of excellence in a UK-wide network that will accelerate advances in radiotherapy research.

ALSO READ: Lorry driver from Didcot has huge Lewis Hamilton tattooed on his back

Centres will also be located in Manchester, Cambridge, Glasgow, Leeds and London.

Cancer Research UK is investing a total of £56 million in Cancer Research UK RadNet – the charity’s largest ever investment in radiotherapy research.

More than 130,000 patients in the UK are treated with radiotherapy on the NHS every year.

In its simplest form, the treatment works by targeting tumours with x-ray radiation, killing cancer cells by irreversibly damaging their DNA.

Oxford Mail:

CRUK Oxford Centre. Picture via Google Maps

The Oxford centre will focus on lung, oesophageal, prostate and head and neck cancers. One Oxfordshire patient who has benefited from such treatment is Christine Palfrey from Bampton.

The former dental nurse was diagnosed with a rare and incurable cancer in January 2013.

The 41-year-old underwent a twelve-hour operation to remove the tumour.

Oxford Mail:

Christine Palfrey

Part of her jaw was also removed and replaced with her hip bone and surgeons also amputated part of her tongue.

She had to learn to eat, drink, talk and walk again, and also underwent six weeks of radiotherapy treatment.

She said: “Doctors told me that the cancer is incurable but treatable. I know that more research into cancer – including rare cancers – is being done and I live in hope that some of that research will help me.”

ALSO READ: 'This is not democracy' - IVF petition will CLOSE due to election

Professor Amato Giaccia, lead researcher for the centre, said the team was 'very proud' that Oxford had received the grant, adding: "The funding will support us to develop new radiotherapy technologies to help more people beat cancer, with fewer side effects for a better quality of life after treatment.

"In the long-term we hope this funding will help us develop new treatment strategies so that more people with lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, head and neck cancer and brain tumours will actually be cured of their disease.”