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 areas 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
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
Dr Robinsons previous research has shown that avß3
controls NRP1s 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 Cs 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 Cs 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 www.big-c.co.uk.
And to keep up to date with what is happening day to day at Big C, like us on Facebook
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