Tiny poem on a pill highlights precision of fight against cancer

The poem was commissioned by the Institute of Cancer Research to publicise its new centre.

Poet laureate Simon Armitage (pictured) has written a poem micro-engraved on to a cancer pill to symbolise the work of a London-based research centre.

The poem was commissioned to highlight the precision research that will take place in the Institute of Cancer Research's (ICR) new building when it opens next year, before micro-engraver Graham Short carved the 51-word poem on to the 20mm long and 10mm wide pill. 

The idea was devised by PR agency Cow. As the ICR's retained agency, its brief is to develop a range of consumer-facing campaigns that will raise awareness of the institute's work.

The Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery will see hundreds of scientists working together to lead a drug discovery programme that aims to overcome cancer’s ability to adapt and evolve resistance to drugs. 

This could turn cancer into a manageable disease that can be controlled in the long term. However, the building needs an additional £14m in donations to be completed.

Armitage said: "Science and poetry are closer associates than many people assume, and it was exciting to work on a project that deals with cutting-edge medical research. 

Dr Olivia Rossanese, who will be head of biology in the new centre, said: "The poem beautifully shares our story and symbolises the hope of what’s to come; the message made more powerful by being engraved on to a pill that represents the kinds of treatments that we will be developing in the very near future."

The pill will be displayed in the new ICR once the building is completed. Visit here to donate to the new building.

This article first appeared on PRWeek.com/uk

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