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A worlds-first as Manchester hosts the Review of the Cancer Revolution : Science, Innovation and Hope exhibition – and it’s well worth a visit

Published on 18/11/2021
A worlds-first as Manchester hosts the Review of the Cancer Revolution : Science, Innovation and Hope exhibition – and it’s well worth a visit A worlds-first exhibition opened recently in Manchester and explores the revolution in science that is transforming cancer care. Created by the Science Museum Group with support from expert partner Cancer Research UK, the exhibition is sponsored by QIAGEN as well as Pfizer and Redx Pharma. The exhibition explores how, at a pivotal moment when one in two of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime, more of us than ever before are living longer and better with the disease and beyond.

Katie Dabin, who after a “big learning curve”, has skilfully curated the exhibition and covered a huge field in a sensitive and accessible way. Patients’ experiences, stories and reflections are central and feature throughout, highlighting the impact of cancer and associated issues. The exhibition explores the understanding, treatment and research of cancer over the centuries and takes a look at how science and innovation is bringing hope to so many despite the challenges yet to be overcome. The exhibition successfully deals with a difficult topic translating into layman’s terms throughout. There are a wide range of scientific objects and equipment to view, plus installations and myth busting exhibits and displays including one area which demonstrates how cancer isn’t unique to humans with items evidencing that cancer is also found in plants and other animals, and even dinosaurs.

Although originally planned to initiate in London, Manchester makes a perfect home for the exhibition launch. Both cities are key hubs in cancer research, identification, diagnosis and treatment. The future looking element of the exhibition focuses on the work of ground-breaking researchers. Amongst a leading worldwide group, several Manchester-based researchers are featured including Professor Caroline Dive who is tracking the signs of cancer evolution in blood, Dr Philip Crosbie detecting lung cancer earlier in the community, Professor Amit Patel retraining our immune system to detect cancer and Professor Fiona Thistlethwaite trialling cell therapy in patients with solid tumours.

One of the sponsors QIAGEN Manchester has recently launched new companion diagnostic tests to support the treatment of cancer and has opened their new European Centre of Excellence for Precision Medicine in Manchester’s CityLabs 2.0, a new world-leading genomics campus. James Curran and Sandra Ardill from QIAGEN, each heavily involved in the launch of companion diagnostic products from the QIAGEN Manchester site, pre-viewed the exhibition. James said, “I was struck by the real insight into patient experiences the exhibition gave and it was obvious that the team who put this together really got to know the individuals featured.” Sandra said, “It’s easy to lose sight of the impact we make on patients, but this is a real reminder that everything we and others do in the laboratory changes lives.”

Thanks to the support of the sponsors including QIAGEN the exhibition is now open in Manchester and here until April 2022 before it moves onto the Science Museum in London. This is something people of all ages and backgrounds should visit to widen understanding and engagement with this important issue which will undoubtedly impact all of us.
 

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