Professor Malcolm Dunlop receives Scottish Cancer Foundation Prize
Professor Dunlop was awarded the £10,000 prize in recognition of his efforts as bowel cancer researcher and surgeon.
Professor Malcolm Dunlop was presented with the Scottish Cancer Foundation Prize & Evans Forrest Medal during the Scottish Cancer Conference in the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh on Monday November 20. The prize recognises excellence in cancer care and prevention and supports the work of those dedicated to reducing the burden of cancer in Scotland.
The research being led by Malcolm Dunlop places Scotland in the vanguard of international efforts to combat bowel cancer. He is a very worthy recipient of our annual prize which was set up to recognise excellence in reducing the burden of cancer in Scotland.
Scotland has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world with more than 3500 cases diagnosed every year, resulting in around 1600 deaths. Finding more effective treatments is therefore a priority.
Professor Dunlop’s research has implicated a number of genes in the development of bowel cancer. His findings have helped detect the condition at an early stage in hundreds of patients. In addition to his research, Professor Dunlop also excels as a bowel cancer surgeon. Through surgery, the cancer can be removed, preventing the development of a more serious late-stage disease. Professor Dunlop developed the Lothian Colorectal Surgery Unit, which has some of the best cancer survival rates in Europe. He has also formulated instrumental guidance for the detection and surveillance of bowel cancer, which is now used in the UK as well as in other countries.
He plans to use the £10,000 prize money to find new ways to prevent the disease, which he says is at least as much a priority as finding more effective treatments. He wants to investigate ways of cutting out surgery through drug and nutrient approaches that may stop cancer progression or reduce the risk of it developing in the first place. For example, his research has found that taking vitamin D and low doses of aspirin, both of which are cheap and readily available, may have a beneficial role in preventing bowel cancer. The next stage will be to test if these and other potentially promising agents can halt progression of the disease.
I am delighted to be awarded the Scottish Cancer Foundation prize and the Forrest Evans Medal. I consider that the work we have been doing on a broad front over the last three decades has begun to make significant inroads into the burden of cancer in Scotland, as well as further afield. We can look forward to further exciting advances by exploiting new functional genomics technologies aligned with genome editing approaches to unravel the causes of cancer.
The ultimate aim is to prevent the disease through combating the processes that are hijacked by cancer cells. The prize fund will be used to further these exciting new approaches in the lab, but with a keen surgical eye on gaining tangible benefit for people.
Malcolm is the 3rd recipient of the Scottish Cancer Foundation Prize.
The Scottish Cancer Foundation was established in 1997 to improve the understanding and treatment of cancer across Scotland. It also works to promote prevention and to nurture collaborative research. The Scottish Cancer Foundation prize is supported by the Grant Simpson Trust which helps organisations involved in the "advancement of health".