Professor Janet Shipley and her sarcoma molecular pathology team
The Chris Lucas Trust has made another generous pledge of £300,000 to support rhabdomyosarcoma research at The Institute of Cancer Research, London. The charity, which was set up after teenager Chris’s tragic death from the disease in July 2000, has so far raised over £1m for research into rhabdomyosarcoma and continues to fundraise through flagship events such as the Great North Bike Ride.
Before being diagnosed in July 1997, Chris was a strong 15-year- old boy, who played rugby, cricket and basketball. After twice battling back from the disease, achieving great GCSE results and starting out in a career in graphic design, the cancer finally took Chris after three years. The Chris Lucas Trust hopes to enable the translation of new molecularly targeted drugs rapidly into the clinic so that other families don’t suffer the same fate.
Donations from the trust have already contributed to studies that found combining two separate molecularly targeted therapies could block processes driving growth in rhabdomyosarcoma, a major cause of cancer death in children.
This latest award from the Chris Lucas Trust will enable us to employ two scientists to exclusively work on rhabdomyosarcoma for the next three years, under the supervision of Professor Janet Shipley – one of the world’s leading authorities on research into soft tissue sarcomas. Rhabdomyosarcoma is a tumour that resembles muscle tissue, and at present there are no effective targeted treatments for the aggressive forms of the disease.
Mrs Lynn Lucas, Chris’s mum, told us: “We are delighted to continue supporting this much-needed research programme. Our fundraising is hard work but extremely rewarding and we chose the ICR since we believe in their commitment to develop new drugs to help children and teenagers suffering from cancer to live longer, and ultimately find a cure for rhabdomyosarcoma.”
If you are interested in making a gift to the ICR to support our work, please contact Thomas Bland on 020 8722 4200 or at [email protected]