Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southampton cancer research centre gets £2m boost

Southampton's Centre for Cancer Immunology Image copyright University of Southampton
Image caption The £2m will go towards the centre is currently under construction at Southampton General Hospital

Construction of a cancer research centre in Southampton has been given a £2m boost.

The money, donated anonymously by a Guernsey resident, is helping to finance the University of Southampton's £25m Centre for Cancer Immunology.

Expected to open next spring, the centre will be home to 50 research staff and a specialist clinical trials unit.

A campaign to fund the centre, which was launched in 2015, stands at £23.8m.

Construction of the four-storey building is well under way at Southampton General Hospital.

Image copyright University of Southampton
Image caption The centre will also be home to a suite of molecular biology laboratories

Professor Tim Elliott, its director, said: "We are extremely grateful for this wonderful and very generous gift, which sees us enter the final phase of our fundraising campaign.

"We are within touching distance of our new centre being a reality."

The university said the money to fund the centre had come from philanthropic donations and a small amount of community fundraising.

What is immunotherapy?

Some cancers are able to evade our natural defences by switching off, or confusing, our immune system's killer T cells, allowing the diseased cells to grow exponentially.

Immunotherapy is a revolutionary approach to treatment that supercharges the body's natural defences to switch our killer T cells back on, which allows them to eliminate them.

The treatments being developed at Southampton not only destroy visible cancer cells but also seek out and eradicate hidden cancers in other parts of the body.

Potentially, they give us a lifetime of immunity.

Source: University of Southampton

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