Norfolk and Waveney charity Big C announce grants

Norfolk and Waveney cancer charity the Big C has announced the projects that are to benefit from �339,000 of funding.

The regional charity that looks to fund equipment, research, care and support into cancer has announced that schemes at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and University of East Anglia are to benefit.

Twice a year the charity announces grants that are to be given funding from the money it has raised, but with 25 grant applications in the spring amounting to �1.5m, they were unable to help them all.

All of the applications are subject to a rigorous peer review with the trustees helped by independent clinical and scientific experts to make their decisions.

This year those to benefit included three projects at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, as well as the Big C Centre, and three research projects at the UEA.

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Where Big C's grants will go:

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Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital:

•Neuropsychology test material for children

Funding to purchase neuropsychology test material to help treat children suffering with brain tumours. The material will measure the effect of tumours and the treatment regimes on children's intellectual ability, memory and school achievement and will help doctors find the right level of care and treatment for each child.

•Stereotactic Radiotherapy (SRT) equipment

SRT equipment provides a cutting edge technique to deliver high doses of radiotherapy to tumours within the brain, with a smaller number of treatments and with minimal toxicity to the cancer patient. Those currently needing SRT for brain tumours have to travel to Cambridge for 5-6 weeks.

•Endobronchial Ultrasound Machine

This machine uses a special kind of telescope to see inside the airways of lung cancer patients so that doctors can decide on the right treatment for that patient. Currently patients from Norfolk have to have a more invasive surgical procedure or have to travel to Papworth Hospital near Cambridge.

•Big C Centre

The Big Cancer Support and Information Centre receive money to continue its services to cancer patients and their carers and families. The centre offers welfare rights advice, counselling, complementary therapies, wig fitting and much more.

University of East Anglia:

•Cancer Research Human Tissue Bank

The tissue bank is a vital resource for local world leading cancer researchers at the University of East Anglia and in hospitals across the region. The bank is used in the study of cancer cells to help find cures and treatments for breast, head, neck and prostate cancer.

•Breast cancer molecule research

A recent breakthrough in research has identified very small molecules known as microRNAs which can both cause and prevent the growth of tumours. MicroRNAs had previously escaped detection due to their tiny size and this program of study at the UEA could potentially have a huge impact on the development of new treatments and diagnostic equipment around the world.

•Breast cancer identification study

Every year around 40,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer and the cause of 95pc of cases is unknown. The aim of this study is to understand more about an enzyme known as PLK that is believed to play a role in the development of a large proportion of breast cancers. By understanding exactly how this enzyme works will enable new therapies to be developed that might one day target the early stages of this type of cancer.

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