Despite many years of research and laboratory study vascular uveal melanoma is an aggressive cancer of the eye that notes almost five hundred new cases being diagnosed every year in the U.K.The melanoma affects the uvea and the iris as tumours develop from the colour pigment cells. Sheffield University are a collective that have actively researched the cancer over a number of years and are now appealing for help to fund a research scientist to start an eye tissue bank for further studies.
To date the University have clocked up over twenty five years experience looking scientifically at ways to beat the tumour and the National Eye Research Centre want to take the current opportunity to really muscle in and work on fighting the cancer.
A figure of just under fourteen thousand pounds has been pinpointed to build up a tissue bank which should take eighteen months to fulfill.. Currently, newly diagnosed tumours are surgically removed and a biopsy sample is taken and developed into cell cultures. This procedure needs to be executed precisely so as not to damage the cells further to which extensive tests are then carried out on each individual culture. As each tumour is unique, the greater the bank the easier it will become to study the differences and how this impacts on the outcome of treatment to decrease mortality rates that remain high.