University of Aberdeen Takes you to the main page for this section
Media Release

Headline News : New Media Releases : Media Releases Archive

Stonehaven family donates £1,500 for career research to PET centre

Date: 25 August 1999
Our ref: 461

The husband of a Stonehaven woman who died recently after a long battle with breast cancer will present a cheque for £1,500 to the University of Aberdeen’s John Mallard Scottish PET Centre today (Wednesday, August 25).

Moira Emslie was a well-known figure in Stonehaven, where she and her husband Jack, a former local councillor, ran an electrical business. She was first diagnosed with the disease several years ago.

The money was raised when Mr Emslie requested that mourners at the funeral, which took place last week, give a donation to the PET Centre rather than flowers.
Mrs Emslie was one of the volunteers in a Cancer Research Campaign-funded study that the PET Centre is carrying out to measure the effectiveness of chemotherapy for treating breast cancer.

Professor Peter Sharp, Head of the Department of Bio-Medical Physics and Bio-Engineering, also lives in Stonehaven and knew Mrs Emslie personally.

“Moira actually took part in trials at the PET Centre a couple of years ago and we often used to talk about what she had done since attending the Centre and how she coped with the cancer.

“I watched her fight the disease and we are very grateful to the Emslies for thinking of the Centre at a time which is obviously still very difficult for them.”

Prof Sharp said it is very difficult to assess whether a tumour is responding to a particular treatment until the patient has been receiving the drug for several months. Any delay in giving an effective treatment increases the chance that the tumour will spread elsewhere in the body.

“PET produces images of the biochemistry of the tumour and shows how active the tumour is. The early results from the study shows that it is possible to see a reduction in tumour activity several months earlier than was previously possible.

“This will enable doctors to tailor the treatment for their patients, eliminating unnecessary treatment, so giving the doctor time to try different drugs before the cancer has had time to spread as well as reducing the often distressing side-effects for the patient.”


PHOTOCALL: Mr Emslie will present the money to Professor Sharp and the team at the PET Centre on Wednesday, August 25, at 3pm.  Photographers and journalists are invited to attend. Further information from Alison Ramsay, University Press Officer on (01224) 273778.

NOTES TO EDITORS: PET is short for POSITRON EMISSION TOMOGRAPHY. A minute amount of a chemical labelled with a radioactive element is administered to a patient. By detecting the radiation as it is emitted from the patient an image is produced showing the distribution of the chemical in the patient. PET gives images of the body’s biochemistry and is an extremely powerful technique for medical imaging.

The John Mallard Scottish PET Centre is the only such facility in the UK north of Cambridge. It is named after Professor John Mallard who was Professor of Medical Physics at Aberdeen University and the inventor of Magnetic Resonance Imaging.


Further information

Alison Ramsay on telephone +44 (0)1224-273778 or email