A new initiative aiming to boost UK pathology research is to be launched next year with a cash injection of £635,000.

The National Cancer Research Institute Cellular Molecular Pathology (CM-Path) programme ultimately hopes to improve diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients by reinvigorating academic cell and tissue-based pathology. 

The initiative aims to build a stronger base of people and resources to undertake pathology research, providing strategic co-ordination of research training, basic and translational research opportunities, and implementation of new approaches to fuel innovation in cancer care.

Cash from 10 of the NCRI partner organisations*, including the Cancer Research UK and the Department of Health, will also help to boost activity in the centres of excellence where pathologists investigate cancer biology and treatment, the Institute said.

“This is a hugely exciting opportunity for researchers and pathologists throughout the UK,” noted Bridget Wilkins, NCRI lead for pathology engagement. “This funding will allow us to advance cancer research and inspire the next generation of pathologists to develop as researchers. It will help us find better ways to diagnose patients and direct them to the right treatment. This is critical to cancer and will also benefit other diseases”.

Last month Cancer Research UK awarded Queens University Belfast £3.9 million to develop new pathology and image analysis techniques for solid tumours. 

This includes research to improve cancer diagnosis through tissue imaging, biomarker discovery and clinical trials, and the cash will also underpin the next generation of scientists with a Clinical Fellowship programme in molecular pathology, the charity said.

*CM-Path will be funded as a collaborative venture between Bloodwise, Breast Cancer Now, Cancer Research UK, the Chief Scientist Office (Scotland), the Department of Health (England), Health and Care Research Wales (Welsh Government), Health and Social Care (N Ireland), the Medical Research Council, Prostate Cancer UK and Tenovus Cancer Care