Scientific advisory board members

Orchid was founded on the principle of providing much needed funding for the best and most innovative research into male cancers, and since the charity’s inception in 1996, we have invested over £16 million in truly exceptional projects. We recognize that it is critical to make sure that the research that Orchid supports is of the highest quality and is managed cost-effectively – not just for its own sake, but for the thousands of people whose generous donations enable its funding. Although Orchid’s Board of Trustees contains medical professionals, it is essential to have the independent opinion of eminent individuals in the field.

The charity is honoured to have the assistance of a prestigious Scientific Advisory Board, under the chairmanship of Professor Norman Maitland of the University of York, to assess and review proposals submitted to Orchid to conduct medical research and to ensure the quality of the research.

Scientific advisory board members:

Professor Norman Maitland, Molecular Biology; Professor Anders Bjartell, Urology; Professor Nick James, Clinical Oncology; Professor Guido Jenster, Urology; Professor Margaret Knowles, Molecular Biology and Genetics; Professor Hing Lung, Urology and Surgical Oncology.

An overview of Orchid’s research by Professor Norman Maitland

“To attack a complex and multifaceted disease like men’s cancer requires the co-operation of different specialities, both medically and scientifically. The Orchid researchers provide an unrivalled national framework within the same institution to carry out translational research on testicular, prostate and penile cancers.

Orchid currently supports five research studies in the following specialist areas: molecular biology (the genetic function and development of cells), histopathology (the study of tissue appearance involved in cancer,) cancer epidemiology (the study of risk factors involved in cancer development) and clinical trials (to improve treatments.) Orchid has appointed a new Orchid Chair of Male Genito-Urinary Oncology, Professor John Kelly and team to lead our new research strategy focusing on new studies into prostate and penile cancer.
The Robert Lane Tissue Bank which the clinical researchers Dr Jonathan Shamash and Professor Tom Powles have built up alongside the expertise of pathologist Professor Dan Berney is a major international resource. Scientific studies will increasingly be carried out on primary human tissues, as new treatments become more sophisticated – the foresight by Professor Tim Oliver to establish this resource was remarkable.

Human tissue banks are important for the in-house scientific studies carried out under the expertise of talented cancer geneticist, Dr Yong-Jie Lu. Genes identified in his studies have the potential to unravel some of the clinical complexities of these diseases and should lead to novel approaches to treat and even cure the tumours in the longer term; already progress in testicular cancer research has resulted in a high response to early treatment, whereas 30 years ago 1 in 5 men died of the disease within 5 years of diagnosis.

Orchid will continue to fund research that leads to the better treatment and management of patients affected by male cancer into the future. For example, Dr Shamash’s work leading clinical trials is finding new ways of treating patients and reducing their side effects. Professor Powles global study on testicular cancer brings new hope for patients who are currently likely to have a very poor prognosis. Orchid is also aiming to encourage young researchers into the field of male cancer research through new training and career development awards. The Robert Lane Tissue Bank, the charity’s participation in pan-European clinical trials, and its co-operation with scientists in the USA as part of the Transatlantic Prostate Group, identify the charity’s researchers as a significant and global force in men’s cancer research.”

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