A University of Aberdeen researcher will take part in one of Britain’s most scenic fundraising runs after his cancer charity was nominated as one of the event’s beneficiaries.
Organisers of Run Balmoral, who launched next year’s event on Sunday (October 30), have announced their official charity is GASTROCAN– the Grampian Gastro-Oesophageal Cancer Research Fund.
Dr Petty, Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen and Consultant Medical Oncologist at NHS Grampian, is delighted the charity he heads has been chosen.
“GASTROCAN is the only charity that raises money specifically for research into stomach and gullet cancer and it is fantastic that is being backed by the hugely popular Run Balmoral,” he said.
“As well as being a superb opportunity to raise funds for our research it will also help raise awareness to a type of cancer, that despite its rising incidence, and unfortunately poor prognosis, does not have a huge public profile.”
“Maintaining a ideal body weight through exercise may be important in preventing stomach and gullet cancers so the link with the Balmoral races is particularly apt”
The charity already has a cohort of runners on its team who will be taking part in Run Balmoral 2012 and will raise funds through sponsorship The races will be held next April 28 and 29 and Dr Petty encouraged others to sign up to the races and support GASTROCAN through sponsorship.
“I have also been persuaded to do the 5K run, which after many years of inactivity, is quite a challenge!,” added Dr Petty.
“The last time I did any real running was 20 years ago. I have done half marathons but my main events were the 200 and 400m.
“My wife ran the 5K race in 29 minutes last year at Run Balmoral and so this is my target to beat, but having done my first training run last week it’s clear I have a very, very long way to go!”
Andrew Miller, from Run Balmoral Management Group, said: “We read about one of our runners Pauline Bell, who unfortunately succumbed to stomach cancer this year and wrote to her husband to offer our condolensces and support. We were highly delighted that Jamie was able to come back to us and make a request for us to support Gastrocan. It’s nice to be able to help make a difference to people’s lives and the fact that it is a local charity, linked to University of Aberdeen was an important factor in our decision making. There is a direct correlation between exercise and prevention, so we thought this a good match with Run Balmoral. We hope our runners get behind the charity and sign up to help this vital research.”
Current research supported by GASTROCAN includes:
· Developing tests called biomarkers to enable doctors to individualise cancer therapy for patients, optimising the chances of success and minimising side effects, rather than the current 'one size fits all' approach
· Clinical trials of the latest new drugs for gastro-oesophageal cancer patients
· Investigations into the causes of gastro-oesophageal cancer
· Investigations looking at the symptoms of the disease and how patients and GPs react to them to help diagnose the disease earlier
· Discovering targets for more effective new drugs for the disease in the future
· Exploring how new imaging and scanning techniques can be used to improve how the best treatment for patients is selected.
· Establishment of the 'North of Scotland Upper Gastrointestinal Tumour Bank' which will be a key resource to support research into the disease