News‎ > ‎

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity Supports University of East Anglia’s research with prostate cancer patients

posted 10 Feb 2016, 13:07 by Michael Davey

Every year, over 44,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer across the UK. This is a cause close to the hearts of many Freemasons and since 2006 the Grand Charity has donated over £240,000 towards research into the detection and treatment of prostate cancer. Last year, The Freemasons’ Grand Charity awarded a grant of £100,000 to the Cancer Genetics team at the University of East Anglia (UEA) to help fund research that will focus on distinguishing between aggressive and non-aggressive forms of the disease. 

The highly variable nature of prostate cancer can be problematic for its management and a high proportion of cases are over treated, leading to unnecessary impotence, while some are under-treated, leaving potentially aggressive cancers untreated.  It is therefore vital that techniques are developed which allow men with aggressive cancers to be targeted and the remainder to be spared the side effects of such treatment. This research will focus on examining biomarkers secreted into urine by prostate cancer cells.


A critical problem in clinical management is that at the time of diagnosis it is not possible to reliably distinguish aggressive, from non-aggressive disease. The Grand Charity award will allow us to tackle this critical question head-on through the analysis of large amounts of information that have been already obtained from prostate cancer patients.

Professor Colin Cooper, lead researcher


This most recent grant will support part of an ongoing study that was previously funded by the Grand Charity in 2011 and 2013 with grants of £50,000, bringing the total donated to this project up to an impressive £200,000. This previous research generated large amounts of data which, with this recent grant, can now be analysed using sophisticated techniques to further develop and refine tests that aid diagnosis. 


Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men in the UK, resulting in 11,000 deaths each year. Therefore, we believe strongly in assisting medical research that will focus on identifying which patients are most at risk of dying.  We are very happy to give this grant to ensure further insight into this awful disease is achieved.

Laura Chapman , Chief Executive of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity