Helen Rollason Cancer Charity research centre opened

A new £60,000 cancer research centre has been opened at Broomfield hospital in Chelmsford.

The Helen Rollason Research Centre will cater for patients who are receiving treatment as part of clinical trials.

It will also be used for medical research in areas such as diabetes, cardiology and asthma.

The centre was opened by Sir Trevor Brooking, a vice patron of the cancer charity named after the late BBC Sport TV presenter.

Ms Rollason, who lived in Brentwood, battled colon cancer until her death in 1999 at the age of 43.

The new centre has been set up by the charity in a refurbished building on the hospital site.

It will work alongside its cancer research laboratory based at Anglia Ruskin University's Chelmsford campus and support centres in Essex, Hertfordshire and London.

'Really rewarding'

The charity's oncology research manager, Tracey Camburn, said: "We're very proud we've got this centre here, because it's the only one of it's kind in Essex.

"Being part of a trial means you need to start within a designated time frame.

"So the idea of this centre is for cancer patients who are in clinical trials to access it in a timely manner and have their treatments very quickly."

Trials in areas such as chemotherapy, antibody and bone strengthening treatments will take place at the centre, along with consultations.

Sir Trevor, a friend and colleague of Ms Rollason, believed it was a fitting memory to her.

He said: "To now have something in Essex locally and under the name of Helen I think is really rewarding, not just to her family and friends, but more than anything it's key for local people.

"Hopefully in the next few years we'll see the benefit of it opening today."

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