‘Less than a rock star’s gold toilet seat’

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 Marathon26 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.

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2 Responses to ‘Less than a rock star’s gold toilet seat’

  1. hey there!

    I am also trying my hardest to support Magnus by collecting money and spreading the word of this treatment through every available website I can find, I think I’ve done more than 500 comments and pokes and probably half the internet hates me right now.

    but it’s for a good cause!

    I’m collecting money through a crowdfunding effort, which I hope once it finds the right person will go viral and the amount donated will explode, the previous fundingjar effort ran out and closed on time, but with 15,000 US Dollars collected, it should have stayed open to collect more!

    so with that in mind, I created another campaign, but mine runs until december, so I’m hoping to collect as much as humanly possible through every available online resource I can get.

    I’m hoping you can see the benefit, the crowdfunding campaign almost collected the same amount, but in a matter of days….it’s amazing what crowdfunding can do, you know The Oatmeal? well, he collected 1 million dollars in nine days…(ref: theoatmeal.com/blog/tesla_museum_1m)

    I’ve got a similar indiegogo campaign here: http://indiegogo.com/uppsala-cancer-research

    I hope you’ll support it and direct some of the people you know there, also there is a facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/cure.that.cancer.fundraiser

    thanks and all the best with your running! ONLY FOUR DAYS LEFT OF TRAINING TO DO!!

  2. Pingback: Eight months later: iCancer reaches fundraising target | Media law and ethics

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