Sponsored Climb of Kilimanjaro Will Put Wales in Lead on Lung Cancer Research

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), May 31, 2010 | Go to article overview

Sponsored Climb of Kilimanjaro Will Put Wales in Lead on Lung Cancer Research


Byline: Madeleine Brindley

FIFTEEN former rugby captains will help put Wales at the forefront of ground-breaking international lung cancer research. Money raised by the Brains SA Captains Climb team - the captains and coach Warren Gatland will attempt to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro in September - will allow the Wales Cancer Bank to start collecting lung cancer samples. These samples will in turn be available to leading lung cancer research scientists around the world. The Brains SA Captains Climb will also improve care for patients diagnosed with lung cancer in Wales and support home-grown research projects. Dr Simon Noble, a clinical senior lecturer in palliative medicine at Cardiff University and lung cancer researcher, said: "We need to be able to study this beast properly so the big plan is to raise funds which will allow us to collect and story lung cancer samples. "The Wales Cancer Bank gets requests from researchers around the world for lung cancer samples but we do not have them at present.

"If we had a bank of lung cancer samples we would then be able to support the world leaders in lung cancer research and not just those in Wales. "If there is someone who has a breakthrough and the thing that's stopping them is that they don't have sufficient numbers of lung cancer samples to study, then we would be able to help. "By doing this we would be contributing to the world's goal of eradicating lung cancer." The Wales Cancer bank was launched in 2003 and collects samples of tumours, normal tissue and blood from all patients in Wales who are undergoing an operation to remove tissue where cancer is a possible diagnosis. These samples are banked to build up a research resource that will be used by research groups around the world. Seven Welsh hospitals currently collect samples from 19 different types of cancer and they are stored by the Wales Cancer Bank. Lung cancer is not among them.

Dr Noble said: "The Brains SA Captains Climb is aiming to raise pounds 1m - we will be able to support smaller research studies in Wales and to provide and train specialist nurses but we will also be able to contribute something substantive and sustainable that will improve the care of lung cancer patients across the world. "We will have the building blocks for researchers to do the work." The Brains SA Captains Climb is the idea of photographer Huw Evans, whose wife Sue was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008.

It aims to raise pounds 1m for Velindre Cancer Centre's Stepping Stones appeal, which supports research into the disease and raises awareness of lung cancer. Lung cancer is the second most common form of cancer in men and women in Wales. More than 2,000 people are diagnosed every year but some 85% of patients will die from the disease. …

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