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Join the Cambridge Independent's Rapid Scan Appeal with Cancer Research UK to help fund clinical trials at Addenbrooke's


By Paul Brackley


Professor Kevin Brindle, the joint project leader, with the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute team. Picture: Keith Heppell
Professor Kevin Brindle, the joint project leader, with the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute team. Picture: Keith Heppell

We're appealing to businesses and individuals to help us raise £100,000 to test revolutionary scanning technology.

Susana Ros Dominguez is helping to carry out the research at Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. Picture: Keith Heppell
Susana Ros Dominguez is helping to carry out the research at Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. Picture: Keith Heppell

The Cambridge Independent is launching a new campaign this week with Cancer Research UK to fund clinical trials at Addenbrooke’s Hospital of pioneering technology.

We have teamed up with the charity’s Cambridge Institute to raise £100,000 in 12 months to help pay for research that could revolutionise the way cancer patients are treated.

It will pay for a new imaging technique to be tested that could show whether cancer drugs are working or not within a day or two of treatment getting under way. Currently, patients must wait for weeks or months to find out if a treatment is working or not.

We hope businesses and their employees will support our Rapid Scan Appeal to help change this.

Professor Kevin Brindle at work at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. Picture: Keith Heppell
Professor Kevin Brindle at work at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. Picture: Keith Heppell

Professor Kevin Brindle, who is joint leader of the project at the CRUK Cambridge Institute, said: “We’re very excited to be one of the first groups to test this technique in patients and we hope that it will soon improve treatment – and put an end to giving patients treatments that don’t work for them, along with the unpleasant side effects that accompany them.

“Each person’s cancer is different and this technique could help us tailor a patient’s treatment faster than ever.”

Dr Ferdia Gallagher, the co-lead who is also funded by Cancer Research UK and based at the Department of Radiology at the University of Cambridge, said: “It’s fantastic that we are able to try this technique in patients.

“We hope this will progress the way cancer treatment is given and make therapy more effective for patients in the future. This new technique could potentially mean that doctors will find out much more quickly if a treatment is working for their patient instead of waiting to see if a tumour shrinks.”

Since 2013, the researchers have been working together to develop a new type of MRI scan that can be used to spot when cancers first start responding to treatment.

They were the first in Europe to test the technique in patients and are continuing their work at Addenbrooke’s.

Their imaging research involves patients who are being treated for a wide range of cancer types.

The money raised through this fundraising campaign will be used to help pay for a research project that aims to determine if a breast cancer drug is working for patients. It is thought the drug will work for some, but not others. The new scanning technology can be used to help those for whom it is ineffective move swiftly on to new drugs.

The fundraising will cover the cost of materials, research in the lab and help to develop the technique.

Heidi Connell, Cancer Research UK’s senior local fundraising manager, said: “This is a one-off opportunity to support a research project which could have a big impact on those around you and on future generations.

“We are very excited to have this research going on in Cambridge. If it’s successful, this new imaging technique could change how we treat patients in the future.

“Improvements and developments in technology like this have the potential to give each cancer patient a better chance of surviving their disease. It’s this type of intelligent, innovative thinking that’s going to help us accelerate progress and beat cancer sooner. So please get behind the appeal and support this local research.”

Doctors use CT and MRI scans to assess whether a tumour is shrinking and determine the effectiveness of a treatment.

But Prof Brindle and Dr Gallagher say this is not the most accurate or fastest way of monitoring whether treatment is working. Instead, they believe measuring the chemical activity of tumour cells would be better.

This is because cancer cells that are responding to treatment shut down and die quickly, meaning their chemical activity is lower than cells that are not responding to treatment. Using this approach will enable patients to try different drugs more quickly and receive the best treatment for their cancer sooner.

Paul Brackley, editor of the Cambridge Independent, said: “This is a great opportunity to help support research in Cambridge that will have a tangible benefit.”

For more information on how to get involved and how your business will benefit, please email laura.holland@cancer.org.uk.

To support the trial visit justgiving.com/fundraising/cambridgeresearchproject.



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