This blog is normally kept for media & law related content, so this post is a bit different from normal.
Earlier this year Dominic Nutt, the husband of a colleague and friend of mine at the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism, was diagnosed with a Neuroendocrine tumour (NETs, also known as carcinoid tumours) which are very rare – the type of cancer that Steve Jobs had, which cannot be cured by drugs, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
He has written about his experiences here, with details of a research project at Uppsala University in Sweden, which is trying to raise £2 million to clinically trial a virus treatment against NETs. Professor Magnus Essand and his research team have genetically engineered a virus to target and kill neuroendocrine cancer cells but it cannot be used on humans until it has been clinically tested.
Alexander Masters (who wrote the book ‘Stuart: A Life Backwards’), whose friend Dido has neuroendocrine cancer, helped initiate the Oncolytic Virus Fund when he found out how much was needed to trial the treatment. In a feature here, he describes his reaction to the sums quoted by Professor Magnus Essand (£1 million for a phase II trial):
“That Magnus’s virus could be held up by a minuscule £1 million dumbfounded me.
‘That’s a banker’s bonus,’ I said. ‘Less than a rock star’s gold toilet seat. It’s the best bargain going. If I found someone to give you this money, would you start the clinical trials?’
‘Of course,’ replied Magnus. ‘Shall I ask the Swedish Cancer Board how soon we can begin?’
On 30 September I will be running the Berlin Marathon – 26 miles 385 yards, or 42.195 km. I’m trying I hadn’t originally planned to do it for charity – my incentive was the trip itself and I thought training would be a good break from the computer screen and deskbound PhD life. With a few painful training runs behind me all I can say that is seemed a good idea at the time …
I doubt any bankers wondering what to do with their bonuses are reading this blog. But if you have a couple of quid spare and might have sponsored me, had I asked, perhaps you could consider making a donation to the Oncolytic Virus Fund. As it’s not a UK charity I can’t set up a JustGiving page so please donate directly to the University research project here, via post or PayPal. You will need to use a Currency Converter to work out the Swedish Krona.
Many, many thanks for your support.