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Celebrating courageous patients and research success

Cancer survivor Sue Vincent, gives a moving account of her personal battle with ovarian cancer at our annual Discovery Club reception.

Cancer survivor Sue Vincent was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in 2007. As for many women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it was a shock.

Symptoms are often guarded and though she was feeling unwell, the diagnosis still took her by surprise. Her initial treatment was a gruelling six months of chemotherapy where she says she “lost her hair, her dignity and her personality”.

Fast forward 10 years. Looking at Sue you’d never imagine that for the past seven years she has been living with ovarian cancer. Her cancer returned in 2010, spreading to three different parts of her body.

She resigned herself to having only months to live. Recognising the importance of scientific research in the quest to defeat cancer, she wanted to play a part in this.

It was at this point she was offered a place on a clinical trial for a pioneering drug called olaparib, the discovery and development of which was underpinned by research at the ICR.

The drug, which is particularly effective against BRCA-mutated cancers, has given her – and is still giving - a quality of life that she never expected to have.

Sue's battle with cancer

In her words: “Taking the drugs now for 7 years has meant I’ve seen four grandchildren born and had the opportunity to take an active part in their lives. It has allowed me to go back to the gym, to build a successful business and given me a quality of life that I could only dream of.”

Sue’s heartfelt story and moving account of her personal battle with cancer, was the closing part of a celebration of the ICR’s year of discovery at our annual Discovery Club reception. Discovery Club members were invited to join us at this event, to hear about the year’s scientific highlights and achievements.

Guests also have the opportunity to talk informally to our researchers and clinicians, to get to know about their work and hear first-hand about the impact of their work.

ICR Chairman Luke Johnson opened this year’s reception in the historic surroundings of the Library at London’s Royal Society of Chemistry. He warmly welcomed guests and thanked them for their generous investment in our work.

Research at the ICR is underpinned by generous contributions from our supporters. Find out more about how you can contribute to our mission to make the discoveries to defeat cancer.

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Our mission to defeat cancer

Professor Paul Workman, our Chief Executive, then showcased another excellent year of achievement for the ICR.

Driven by our mission to defeat cancer and by our passion for improving outcomes for patients, our scientists have made discoveries right across the breadth of our research strategy: from increasing our understanding of the complexity of cancer and how it adapts and evolves; to discovering novel approaches to cancer treatment and delivering innovative clinical trials.

Some of our research highlights this year include:

  • developing a three-in-one blood test that could transform the treatment of advanced prostate cancer
  • discovering that deadly childhood brain tumours – of a type known as gliomas – are in fact 10 different diseases that should be diagnosed and treated based on their specific genetic faults
  • a promising new targeted treatment for ovarian cancer shrinking tumours in half of women with the disease in an early phase clinical trial

You can read more about our basic, translational and clinical research highlights in our ‘Top 10’ discoveries of 2017.

Cancer survivors at the heart of what we do

Cancer survivors like Sue are at the heart of what we do. To help more people like Sue, we need to discover a new generation of smarter, kinder treatments and take on the major clinical challenge of cancer drug resistance.

Our donors, trusts and foundations are vital in helping to fund our strategic initiatives and our research priorities.

If you would like to make a philanthropic donation or join the Discovery Club, please contact Hannah Joyce, Deputy Director of Development (Philanthropy), at [email protected] or on 020 7153 5298.


Discovery Club
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