Beatson Cancer Charity Launch Research Appeal

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Beatson Cancer Charity is launching its Research Appeal to ensure more patients and their families across the west of Scotland can benefit from clinical radiotherapy research.

The charity’s asking supporters and members of the public to help them deliver life-changing research by supporting a talented Radiotherapy Research Team to continue making breakthroughs in research, as well as offering hope to those facing cancer.

The appeal is supporting a 19-month extension on a Radiotherapy Research Infrastructure project, which requires £223,694 in funding. The project will provide and sustain infrastructure to support clinical radiotherapy research.

The research would help increase opportunities for patients to take part in clinical trials, generate new radiotherapy-based treatments for cancer patients and enable The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre to continue to grow in status as Radiotherapy Research Centre of Excellence. Clinical trials often provide a radical treatment option for people who have exhausted all traditional therapies – giving hope to those who have explored all other routes.

The Clinical Trials Radiographers supported by the funding play a crucial role in setting up radiotherapy clinical trials in The Beatson and help make these trials available to Beatson patients, while the Research Radiographers provide expertise in using MRI scans to maximise the accuracy and effectiveness of radiotherapy, as well as working with patients and public representatives to maximise their input into new and evolving radiotherapy research projects.

Beatson Cancer Charity

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Ken Mair Appeal Supporter

70-year old Ken Mair from Darvel in East Ayrshire was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and received radiotherapy treatment. He now supports the work and research of Claire Paterson, Consultant Clinical Oncologist in The Beatson, as his way of giving back.

Ken said: “In 2021 I had a growth removed from my head which was possibly cancerous. The doctor said they’d have to see me every three months to keep an eye on it.

“Just shortly after that I felt a lump on my face. I saw him after my biopsy had been taken and he said ‘I’m sorry it’s not good news, it’s spread’.

“I ended up getting a neck dissection where they cut out all the lymph nodes followed by radiotherapy a few weeks after.

“I had the operation in January 2021 and the radiotherapy started in March. It was for six weeks, five days a week, so 30 sessions. After that it was just recovery.”

Ken decided after his treatment was complete that he would like to get involved in helping with research.

Ken, who has two children, continued: “When I was at The Beatson, I was given a leaflet asking if I’d be interested in contributing to research.

“They were looking for someone in particular who had head and neck experience, so that fitted well with me as I could contribute from some experience.

“At the beginning I just thought it was important because I wanted to give a bit back with all the care I’d had.

“But as I realised what they were doing, it became much more important to me because I realised that I happened to have quite a number of friends who have cancer, so it’s given me an insight into how it can really affect people’s lives hugely.

“These friends helped me to see research is so important because it’s improving the methods all the time.

“I had a mask that I had to wear while I was receiving radiotherapy. I was pinned to the bed rigidly so they could absolutely pinpoint the target area.

“They would set it up and the bed would wobble so they could get me into exactly the right position, which is very impressive, but I’ve learned that there’s a long way to go to pinpoint the areas even more accurately to prevent needless side effects and I see that as being very important to patient wellbeing.”

Anthony Chalmers, Professor of Clinical Oncology at the University of Glasgow and Honourary Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, said: “This Radiotherapy Research Infrastructure grant has been absolutely key to everything we’re doing.

“The most important thing that it does is it enables us to employ absolutely brilliant Clinical Trials Radiographers.

“Between them, they’ve absolutely transformed the way that we conduct our clinical trials.

“They’ve increased the number of radiotherapy trials that are open to cancer patients in Glasgow and they’ve also helped us increase the number of patients that we recruit to those trials.

“That’s on a backdrop of it getting more and more difficult to open trials: more bureaucracy, more costs, so really without this funding we wouldn’t be able to open anywhere near the number of trials that we do.”

Ian Murray, director of philanthropy at Beatson Cancer Charity said: “We are proud to work in close partnership with clinicians and researchers at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre and The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research to help to deliver life-saving research.

“Any donations supporting our research appeal will help researchers find new treatments for cancer patients in the future.”



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