THE UNIVERSITY of Bradford has received a significant donation to fund research into new ways of treating prostate cancer.

The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) has pledged £211,632 over a five-year period to facilitate three PhD research studentships at the University’s Institute of Cancer Therapeutics (ICT).

The University will contribute £45,000 towards research costs.

James H Newman OBE, Provincial Grand Master of the Freemasons of the Province of Yorkshire West Riding, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the MCF has recognised the importance of the prostate cancer research being conducted at the University of Bradford.

“We are well aware that prostate cancer is more likely to affect men of a certain age and, as a good number of our members fall under this category, finding ways of treating those with advanced forms of this deadly disease is to be welcomed.

“I am incredibly proud that funds raised by our members are being put to such valuable use.”

Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer - one in six UK males will be diagnosed with it in their lifetime, and more than 11,000 people die from the condition each year.

According to Cancer Research UK, Prostate cancer accounts for 27 per cent of all new cancer cases in British men, and 14 per cent of all new cancer cases in British men and women combined.

Professor Sherif El-Khamisy, head of the ICT, said: “The generosity of the MCF will fund research into the development and testing of specific treatments for advanced prostate cancer, such as hypoxia-activated prodrugs, which are specifically designed to target prostate tumours.

“This will improve prognosis, enhance quality of life and ultimately save lives.”

University Vice Chancellor, Professor Shirley Congdon, added: “We are incredibly grateful for this donation.

“We have a long-standing partnership with both the MCF and the West Riding Masonic Charities, which has resulted in significant funding for many aspects of the ICT’s research.

“This has included donations towards equipment and staff salaries, as well as this most recent gift towards PhD research.”

The PhD studentships will be named ‘The Masonic Charitable Foundation Bradford Clinical Scholars’.

In total, three PhD students will be supported over five years, primarily focusing their research on improving the efficacy of existing therapies and developing new treatments for men living with advanced metastatic prostate cancer.