Cancer charity Tour de Cure donates $10,000 to translational research at IHMRI
Inspirational pedal power was on colourful display when cyclists on a gruelling three-day Westpac Tour 200 event made a pit stop in Wollongong on 6 March to donate $10,000 to IHMRI cancer researcher Professor Marie Ranson and prominent local Oncologist, Professor Philip Clingan OAM.
The Westpac Tour 200 is one of more than a dozen Tour de Cure events held around Australia each year that raise money to fight cancer. The tours have already raised $3.1 million this year.
Clad in bright orange and blue lycra, the large group of cyclists made a spectacular entrance to the Crown Street Mall. Although weary from blustery conditions, nothing could diminish their enthusiasm. The group had ridden around the Southern Highlands, the Shoalhaven and the Illawarra, delivering donations along the way to selected cancer charities.
Professor Ranson gave a short speech to thank the group for their support and explained how she would use the donation to support Phase II clinical trials of Deflexifol, the innovative chemotherapy solution for malignant colorectal cancer.
“This project started as basic research involving Illawarra researchers and students in the laboratories of IHMRI,” explained Professor Ranson.
“We recently finished Phase I clinical trials of Deflexifol in Wollongong. The results were extremely promising. Deflexifol increased quality of life for terminally ill cancer patients by reducing the side effects such as weight loss and venous inflammation,” she said. “Phase II trials are now required in order to get the drug to market.”
Professor Philip Clingan, who led the Phase I trial with 39 patients, will again lead the Phase II trial, which will recruit patients locally and regionally.
Several other collaborators at IHMRI and the University of Wollongong played an important role in the early phases of Deflexiol’s development, including Dr Tamantha Stutchbury and Dr Kara Vine; medicinal chemists Emeritus Professor John Bremner and Dr Julie Locke; and Commercialisation Manager Dr Gavin Dixon.
The project has received support from many local organisations in the past, including the Illawarra Cancer Carers; Kiama, Minnamurra and Gerringong Sunrise Rotary; The Robert East Memorial Fund; Southern Medical Day Care Centre; the Gay Bates Memorial Foundation and UOW Alumni.
Top picture: Professor Marie Ranson accepting a cheque from riders in the Tour de Cure.