1. ITV Report

£2 million funding boost for head and neck cancer research in Cardiff

The research aims to find kinder treatments for patients.

A Cardiff researcher has received a £2.15 million grant from Cancer Research UK to help fund the discovery of kinder treatments for head and neck cancer patients.

The aim of the study is to reduce the intensity of head and neck cancer treatment. Current treatments can result in “devastating” side-effects for some patients – including losing the ability to swallow.

The funding will go towards the PATHOS trial - a study that focuses on cancers caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) virus. Anthony Butt from Penderyn took part in the trial in 2016.

I’m so grateful for research as it has not only saved my life, but it’s meant I’m now back to normal enjoying a good quality of life again. Life is precious. I’m now focusing on the future and I’m looking forward to sharing many more happy memories with my family in the years to come.

– Anthony Butt

The 60-year-old is now cancer free after having surgery followed by two rounds of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiotherapy.

Professor Mererid Evans, a Consultant Clinical Oncologist at Velindre Cancer Centre, is the recipient of the funding. She said the side effects of current treatment can be "devastating".

The number of people diagnosed with HPV-positive head and neck cancer has increased over the last 15 years which is why this research is so important. Patients cured of their disease often live for several decades with the side-effects of their treatment which can have a devastating impact on their quality of life.

– Professor Mererid Evans, Consultant Clinical Oncologist

Infection with HPV increases the risk of certain types of cancers, including head and neck cancer. Around 8 out of 10 people will be affected with the virus at some point in their lives.