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Last Updated: Monday, 21 February, 2005, 11:14 GMT
Sir Bobby opens research centre
Sir Bobby Robson
Sir Bobby has survived two cancer scares
Cancer survivor Sir Bobby Robson has officially opened a new research centre in Newcastle.

The former England and Newcastle United manager, who survived bowel cancer and a malignant melanoma, was at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research.

The 72-year-old unveiled a plaque on Monday, marking a year to the day that researchers moved into the 11.7m site. Researchers work with clinicians at Newcastle hospitals to ensure patients have access to the latest treatments.

Sir Bobby said: "People in the region now have one of the most advanced cancer research centres in Europe.

"As a cancer survivor myself, I know just how important this research is."

The centre has been built and equipped thanks to a partnership between local and national charities, the government's Science Research Investment Fund and Newcastle University.

Sir Bobby added: "The Northern Institute for Cancer Research Paul O'Gorman Building is testament to the generosity of the people of the North East.

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"I am proud to be associated with the official opening."

Scientists at Newcastle University have an international reputation for anti-cancer drug development.

They play a crucial role in delivering the new generation of cancer treatments for children and adults by identifying new drug targets, developing new drugs and verifying the effectiveness and safety of new treatments.

Prof Herbie Newell, head of cancer therapeutics at Newcastle University, said: "Our understanding of the science of cancer is evolving rapidly and research, funded by local people, is helping to make a real difference to cancer patients.

"The new facilities will provide a major boost to our research.

"Since we started moving into the centre a year ago, we have brought 120 scientists together under one roof. This means they can share resources and work more effectively together."

Every year around 13,000 adults, and between 80 and 100 children, are diagnosed with cancer in the northern region.

The centre takes its name from a 14-year-old boy who lost his life to leukaemia in Newcastle in 1987.


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