BREAKTHROUGH CANCER RESEARCH
'Over 9,000 people in Ireland die from cancer each year. Money raised from this year's Charity Cycle is vital to fund new treatment options to increase the number of people who will survive this diagnosis. We urgently need your support to help make this happen.'
Breakthrough Cancer Research is an Irish charity focused on research to develop new treatments for cancers that currently cannot be cured. We bring scientists and clinicians together to discover and develop new treatments and cures for patients in Ireland, Europe and Internationally. Focusing particularly on cancers with a poor prognosis, such as malignant melanoma, pancreatic, oesophageal and advanced metastatic disease, we look at every point of the cancer patient journey to find ways we can improve survival and save our loved ones.
To date, our research has led to: 250 new discoveries, over 750 Patients treated and 7 new cancer treatments, delivered.
- €100 - could purchase 50 litres of liquid nitrogen necessary to facilitate freezing tumour cell samples for long-term storage in a cancer bio-bank.
- €200 - could purchase a kit that will isolate DNA from cells, allowing us to determine the processes happening at a genetic level in the cancer cell. This kit will test 200 samples.
- €250 - could purchase a lens for one of our microscopes, used for looking at cancer cell details.
- €500 - could purchase an antibody that will be used to identify and visualize the different components of the human cancer cell. Antibodies can also be used to identify specific cells of the immune system and determine their role in attacking cancer cells following treatment.
- €750 - could purchase enough tissue culture flasks, used for the cultivation of tumour cells under sterile conditions, for 3 months.
- €1,000 - could purchase enough units for counting cells, for approx. 3 months, necessary to carry out controlled experiments
Colombian born Alex has been living in Ireland since 2010. First in Belfast and then in Cork. Shortly after moving to live in Belfast, he was diagnosed with testicular carcinoma and had an operation to remove the cancer. All seemed well, but about two years later, the cancer came back in his left leg. “My oncologist said I should have chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but knowing all the side effects, I really did not want to do this. I knew there were other ways” says Alex.
By now however, Alex was living in Cork, and his dermatologist referred him to Dr James Clover at Mercy University Hospital, who has been using a novel media device electrochemotherapy technology to treat people with skin cancers. This device had been developed by Breakthrough-funded research les by a Breakthrough-funded Scientist, Dr Soden. “I didn’t hesitate to go through with the procedure,” Alex says. “I had it done in one day. It took a couple of hours and the recovery was three or four days. Normal cancer procedures are very slow, so you have to wait to see the signs of healing, but with the electro-chemotherapy, it was right away. The healing process was so quick and there were no side effects at all.”
As we know, many patients suffer life-long side effects of chemotherapy treatment, including organ, bone and nerve damage. But with Breakthrough’s electroporation device, small doses of chemo are delivered directly into tumours like Alex’s. Tiny electric shocks from the probe make the tumours thousands of times more porous, so they readily absorb the chemotherapy drugs. Almost like a series of deadly direct hits that kill the tumour from the inside out, without affecting other parts of the body at all.
It’s now been over five years since Alex’s treatment, and there have been no signs of the cancer coming back.