Walkers raise over €62,500 for Cancer Research
The Kerry Way Cancer Research Walk 2012, which took place across stunning Kerry Way trails from the 20th – 22nd July, was again a tremendous success with over 200 walkers participating from counties all over Ireland and collectively raising an amazing €62,508.58 towards cancer research programmes at Cork Cancer Research Centre. (The monies are still coming in and we are pleased to let you know €65,000 has been raised in total).
The Kerry Way Cancer Research Walk is a 70km fundraising event that has gone from strength to strength in the past seven years, contributing over €500,000 to Cork Cancer Research Centre will help researchers to translate lab discoveries into new cancer treatment opportunities for poor prognosis and incurable cancers.
At the recent presentation of funds raised from the event, Dr. Declan Soden, General Manager of Cork Cancer Research Centre led a minute silence for everyone who has lost loved ones to a disease which takes the lives of 7,500 people annually in Ireland and this was followed by the release of over 100 balloons in their memory at a Barbeque Event which is held at Tom Crean’s Fish and Wine Bar in Kenmare.
The Kerry Way Cancer Research Walk has earned the support of many famous faces over the years including Sean Kelly, Dáithí Ó Sé, John McHenry, and Kevin Kehily, and this year Pat Falvey and Pat Spillane led the Kerry Way.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Declan Soden said: ‘On behalf of the staff and patients of the Centre we would like extend to our sincere gratitude to all participants and supporters of the Kerry Way Cancer Research Walk, without whom this event would not have been possible. A huge thank you to a number of people who give their time annually on a voluntary basis including the organising committee, walk leaders, sweepers, ground crew and civil defence. The Kerry Way Cancer Walk was founded by Damien O’ Brien from Cobh and has continued to grow each year and is now one of the Centre’s annual signature events. A special thanks to all the Cobh community for their continuous support and generosity over the years. The Centre does not have any source of annual state funding and therefore is extremely reliant on the voluntary fundraising efforts made by the public and events such as the Kerry Way Cancer Research Walk. The momentum provided by events such as these provides the drive and encouragement for breakthroughs to be made and for improvements to be made in the quality of life for all cancer patients.
Dr. Soden went on to say; ‘In terms of research activities, Cork Cancer Research Centre continues to focus on developing treatments for poor prognosis and incurable cancers and over the last ten years the Centre has brought five cancer treatments from the laboratory to clinical trial with three more in preparation over the coming months. Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer death in Ireland and we are working to change these statistics through three research programs targeted to improve survival rates from lung cancer.’
Cork Cancer Research Centre has had many breakthroughs in recent months with the announcement that Dr. Sharon McKenna and her team have developed a combination treatment for drug resistant lung cancers which are in the process to going to clinical trial. The gene therapy team at CCRC is designing treatments which help the immune system recognise and kill lung cancer cells where ever they travel in the body. Their scientists have figured out why certain cancers such as oesophageal, ovarian and lymphoma do not respond to the current chemotherapy regime and have developed a combination treatment which does work. This also coincides with a recent win by Dr. Declan Soden and Consultant Thoracic Surgeon John Hinchion of an innovation award for a new device in development to treat inoperable lung cancers.
Additional apparatus are also being invented such as an endoscopic device to successfully treat inoperable colorectal tumours which is currently being offered to patients under clinical trial. The next phase of this research will design devices to treat inoperable lung, oesophageal and pancreatic cancer applying the same technology of electroporation. The Centre has also designed a genetic therapy which helps the body’s own immune system to recognise and kill cancer cells. This offers the best long-term hope for curing cancer at the advanced stage where the cancer has spread throughout the body.
What the Kerry Way Cancer Research Walk money funds:
In terms of our research activities, over the last ten years the Centre has brought five cancer treatments from the laboratory to clinical trial with three more in preparation over the coming months.
Our scientists have figured out why certain cancers such as oesophageal, ovarian and lymphoma do not respond to current chemotherapy regimes and have developed a combination treatment which does work. With financial support we can accelerate the transfer of this treatment from the lab into the clinic.
- Autophagy Programme: We fund a research programme in Autophagy through which we aim to introduce a new treatment for tumours that specifically lack the ability to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death Type I). We have shown this to have particular significance in the poor prognosis cancers such as Oesophageal, Ovarian and Lung. Our scientist have current pre-clinical data supporting new therapeutic regimes which urgently require further development to advance into clinical trial. Resources are required to invest greater manpower to this programme to speed the advancement of this new treatment for patients. Our scientists have invented an endoscopic device to successfully treat inoperable colorectal tumours which is currently being offered to patients under clinical trial. With financial support the next phase of this research will design devices to treat inoperable lung, oesophageal and pancreatic cancer applying the same technology of electroporation.
- Our scientists have invented an endoscopic device to successfully treat inoperable colorectal tumours which is currently being offered to patients under clinical trial. With financial support the next phase of this research will design devices to treat inoperable lung, oesophageal and pancreatic cancer applying the same technology of electroporation
- Our scientists have designed a genetic therapy which helps the bodies own immune system to recognise and kill cancer cells. This offers the best long-term hope for curing cancer at the advanced stage where the cancer has spread throughout the body. Financial support will accelerate the progress of this treatment.
- Gene Therapy Programme: We are funding a well developed research programme in Gene Therapy focused on harnessing and directing the immune system to destroy cancer cells. Extensive work has been completed on delivery mechanisms (ex. viruses, bacteria and electroporation) to get DNA into target cells and vectors have been constructed to stimulate the immune system in the tumour environment. This approach offers the best hope for cancer patients when cancer has already spread throughout the body particularly recurrent malignant melanoma, head and neck cancers, pancreatic, bladder, kidney, prostate, lung and oesophageal cancers. Our scientists have already been granted Irish Medicines Board approval for the first clinical trial in Ireland using gene therapy. Additional resources are required to accelerate the pace of translation into patients.
As you may be aware, the Centre recently launched a new fundraising brand Breakthrough Cancer Research. This new charity, administered by Cork Cancer Research Centre will raise funds, nationally and beyond, for cancer research leading to the development of new therapies that will positively impact patients. Breakthrough Cancer Research will act as a national platform to enable the Centre’s fundraising stretch as far as our research has gone, which has been making ground breaking discoveries into the disease for the past decade.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continuous support of the Centre and for helping us to raise funds so that our scientists can continue their vital work in finding new treatments for poor prognosis cancers.
A sincere THANK YOU!