Cancer Research UK has named one of the research wings in the Cambridge Institute after Tesco, to celebrate its record-breaking Charity of the Year partnership with the retailer.

The “Tesco Charity of the Year 2012 Suite” is on the second floor, and is currently home to the Jodrell and Balasubramanian research groups.

Representatives from Tesco and CRUK were joined by local MP Andrew Lansley for a tour of the laboratory and to learn more about the research that has been funded by the partnership. They met Frances Richards, from the Jodrell lab, who is working on early phase clinical trials for new drugs to treat pancreatic cancer.

Rebecca Fitzgerald (left in picture above, with Tesco Head of UK Community, Lindsey Paterson) from the MRC Cancer Unit introduced the CytospongeTM, a simple screening tool for the early detection of oesophageal cancer. The device consists of a sponge within a capsule on a string which the patient swallows. The capsule dissolves in the stomach, releasing the sponge, and the sponge is then pulled up through the oesophagus and mouth, collecting a cell sample along the way. These cells can then be collected and tested for early signs of oesophageal cancer.

Tesco currently supports Cancer Research UK through the annual Race for Life events as well as through accepting clothing donations within its stores, which go to Cancer Research UK shops across the country. As part of the partnership, Tesco colleagues and customers raised a record breaking £12,275,244 in one year to support the Charity.

Above left: MP Andrew Lansley, Lindsey Paterson (Tesco Head of UK Community) and Professor Simon Tavaré (Director, CRUK Cambridge Institute). Above right: (L-R) Dr Frances Richards (CRUK Cambridge Institute),  MP Andrew Lansley,  Lindsey Paterson (Head of UK Community Tesco), Mark Withington (Bar Hill Tesco), Richard Baker (Managing Director Superstores Tesco), Sian Ingles (Bar Hill Tesco) and Professor Simon Tavaré (Director, CRUK Cambridge Institute).

Richard Taylor, Cancer Research UK executive director of fundraising and marketing said: “Tesco colleagues, customers and suppliers went above and beyond to raise a record breaking amount of money for our lifesaving work.  The dedication they have put into raising vital funds to help improve the early diagnosis and detection of cancer has been truly inspiring.  Thanks to Tesco’s support our scientists can now focus on even more research to find out how we can get cancer diagnosed earlier and help many more people to survive cancer in the future.”

Michael Kissman, UK Communications Director at Tesco said: “I am very proud of the amazing effort made by our colleagues and customers in raising £12.2 million as part of the Charity of the Year partnership in 2012. I’m humbled by seeing first-hand the amazing work which is done at the Cambridge Institute and the real difference that it makes to the lives of those touched by cancer.”

Cambridge South MP Andrew Lansley said: “There are millions of people who each year welcome the support they receive as a result of Tesco’s charitable objectives. I, and I’m sure many others, particularly now welcome the tremendous contribution that this partnership will now mean for the excellent work done at one of the world’s leading centres for research into the prevention and treatment of cancer.”

15 Oct 2013