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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Ovarian cancer centre to improve diagnosis and treatment opens in Edinburgh

Written by The Press Association

A new ovarian cancer centre named in honour of a woman killed by the disease at the age of just 34 will investigate ways to improve diagnosis and treatment.

Nicola Murray, a speech and language therapist from Dunfermline, Fife, died less than four months after her diagnosis with an aggressive form known as HNPCC-associated ovarian cancer in 2010.

The Nicola Murray Centre for Ovarian Cancer Research will now study different types of the disease so patients can be offered the most effective treatment.

The Nicola Murray Foundation has raised more than £200,000 to fund research into ovarian cancer in the last six years and the unit is being established at the University of Edinburgh with support from family and friends.

Scientists will investigate the biological differences between ovarian cancers and how they affect patients' response to treatments, looking at how the tumours grow and why some types respond better than others to medication.

Researchers hope this will help develop new treatments that can tackle even the most resistant forms.

The symptoms of ovarian cancer can be difficult to recognise as they are often the same as those of other less serious conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS).

However, three main symptoms are more frequent in women diagnosed with ovarian cancer: abdominal swelling or bloating; pelvic or abdominal pain and feeling full quickly.

Professor Charlie Gourley, director of the Nicola Murray Centre for Ovarian Cancer Research, said: "We are extremely grateful to Nicola's family and friends for supporting our research so enthusiastically and for allowing us to set up our ovarian cancer research centre in her name.

"We believe that this centre will help us develop new strategies to more effectively target the specific abnormalities in each patient's cancer and thereby improve the outcome for patients with this terrible disease."

Caroline Turnbull, Nicola's sister and co-founder of the Nicola Murray Foundation, said: "When Nicola learned that the treatment pathways for her ovarian cancer were under-researched, she began planning ways for her family and friends to fundraise for better research.

"She was determined that no other young women should go through what was happening to her and knew that new research into treatments would bring hope and light to other young women on their ovarian cancer journey.

"She could never have imagined that there would be a charity - let alone a research centre - in her name, but she'd be so honoured, as we all feel."

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