At sheringham paper, norfolk uk

@ Sheringham Community Paper - Issue 133 - 1 January 2012

Fundraisers’ money to help beat cancer

More than 100, 000 raised by people all over Norfolk and Waveney is to fund ground-breaking research into fighting cancer.

The area’s own cancer charity Big C has awarded Dr Stephen Robinson at the University of East Anglia a grant of 107, 478.

This money will fund his research into angiogenesis – the process by which a tumour recruits its own blood supply.

Tumours can only grow to a limited size without their own blood supply. Once they develop this, their ability to grow and spread is greatly increased.

Improving our knowledge of angiogenesis may allow us to develop better therapies to limit tumour growth and the spread of cancer.

Daniel Williams, chief executive of Big C, said: “Every penny of this money has been raised for Big C by local people, and I would like to personally thank everyone who has fundraised for us.  “Your money is going to fund research which could have a direct impact on how cancer is treated.”

Dr Robinson, a lecturer in cell signalling and angiogenesis within the School of Biological Sciences at UEA, said: “I am new to the Norwich Research Park and I am absolutely ecstatic to have this grant from Big C so early in my independent career.”

“A lot of research has gone into so-called anti-angiogenic therapies. If we can stop angiogenesis from happening we can stop tumours from growing beyond a small size and then spreading to distant sites.”

“Current anti-angiogenic therapies, however, are not working as well as we would like them to. One reason for this is that we have a limited understanding of how different molecules interact to regulate tumour angiogenesis. This grant will allow us to clarify the roles of two particular molecules, called avß3 -integrin (avß3) and Neuropilin-1 (NRP1).”

“Current therapy directed only at ?v?3 has shown some benefit to patients, particularly in the treatment of glioblastoma (a very aggressive type of brain tumour). In general though, the benefits seen with this, and other current anti-angiogenic treatments, have, so far, been shown only to prolong patients lives by a few months. This has led to the search for new targets such as NRP1. New drugs targeting NRP1 are in the early phases of clinical trials. To date, no one has looked at how co-targeting both ?v?3 and NRP1 may impede angiogenesis.”

Dr Robinson’s previous research has shown that avß3 controls NRP1’s participation in angiogenesis. This innovative work will look at how the two molecules interact and under what circumstances targeting either – or, more importantly both - would form the basis of more effective cancer treatment. This grant will fund a stipend and fees for a three-year PhD studentship as well as materials and supplies to conduct the studies.

All Big C’s support, funding and services are dedicated to the people of Norfolk and Waveney. Any money raised goes to help people in your community who are affected by cancer. As well as funding ground-breaking research into beating cancer at UEA, it also pays for support and vital life-saving equipment and is used to run Big C’s Cancer Support and Information Centre, based at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

If you would like to find out more about our work please call us at the Big C office on 01603 619900 or visit our website at

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