I usually cycle 15 minutes to work on the super cycle highway with my backpack in my basket. I am by no means an avid cyclist so cycling over 100km up a mountain in France is not how I would usually spend my annual leave! BUT here is why I have decided to do so…
Le Cure was started to celebrate the success of how research can impact breast cancer treatment after a seemingly terminal case was cured. It has concentrated on funding niche projects otherwise ignored by drugs companies but about which researchers at the Royal Mardsen are passionate.
The first research fellow, Charlotte Fribbens, helped develop the “liquid biopsy” - the ability to monitor tumour DNA from simple blood tests. Much of the research Le Cure has funded is built on the liquid biopsy principle. It is changing clinical practice and outcomes for cancer patients in real time and has been copied by research projects all over the world.
Every penny you raise goes directly to fund cancer research. Le Cure is entirely volunteer run (with huge thanks to all involved) so we have no admin costs. I will personally be paying for all the costs of my trip. This sets us apart from the likes of CRUK and Macmillan, etc who have to cover huge admin costs.
Professor Nick Turner leads Le Cure’s research programme and has recently received the Translational Research Award from the European Society for Medical Oncology (EMSO) - he is a super star in the cancer world. The ESMO Award for Translational Research is given annually to an oncology professional who has made a significant impact in cancer research throughout their career and is internationally recognised for their outstanding contribution to translational medicine.
Initial treatment for breast cancer is very successful, but the truth is many women relapse. My grandmother was recently successfully treated for breast cancer making this cause even closer to my heart. Secondary (or metastatic) breast cancer has previously not been curable. Earlier in 2023 for the first time in the world a woman reached the milestone of having been clear for 5 years of the metastatic breast cancer for which she was treated in 2018 and is therefore classified as having been cured. Only one person at the moment but this is absolutely huge and shows that Le Cure's research mission can become a reality. With studies showing that liquid biopsies can identify relapse up to 13 months before tumours become visible on scans the door to early treatment opens and with it the possibility that patients might be prevented from relapsing altogether.
It is not enough to throw money at cancer and hope outcomes will be improved, money has to be thoughtfully, holistically and efficiently applied and I believe that Le Cure is doing that with an internationally acclaimed medical research team at one of the best cancer centres in the world.
So often you don’t know where your money is actually going when you donate to charity, but with Le Cure you know exactly where and how it is being spent.