An award-winning researcher from the North East, whose work in the early diagnosis of cancer is leading the way internationally, is striking a fresh blow to the disease.
Greg Rubin, Professor of General Practice and Primary Care at Newcastle University, is rallying people in the region to back the Stand Up To Cancer campaign and help speed up life-saving research.
Professor Rubin donned a pair of bright orange boxing gloves to encourage men and women to strike a blow against cancer by raising money for vital research.
Every hour, around two people are diagnosed with cancer in the North East*.
Professor Rubin is urging everyone in the region to join him and Stand Up To Cancer, to support life-saving research.
Stand Up To Cancer unites scientists, celebrities and communities. It’s supported by a host of stars including Davina McCall, Edith Bowman, Alan Carr, Joel Dommett and Kirsty Allsopp.
Money raised for Stand Up To Cancer helps take developments from the lab and transform them, quickly, into brand new tests and treatments for cancer patients.
Professor Rubin said: “Research is cancer’s number one enemy. Stand Up To Cancer helps fund clinical trials and research projects which really pack a punch in the fight against the disease.
“This research is crucial, but also very expensive. That’s why I’m calling on the region’s fundraisers to get fighting fit and help doctors and scientists speed through breakthroughs for the benefit of cancer patients in the North East and across the UK.”
Since it was launched in the UK in 2012, Stand Up To Cancer has raised over £38 million to support life-saving research.
This includes the development of the ‘chemo-package’ to deliver treatment at the best time for the patient; investigating new ways to diagnose cancer and using MRI to turn radiotherapy into a more precise, personalised and powerful anti-cancer weapon.
Previously, Cancer Research UK scientists found that aspirin cuts the risk of bowel cancer in people with an inherited condition – Lynch Syndrome – who are more likely to develop the disease.
Now, money raised from Stand Up To Cancer means that further trials are underway find out how best to use this drug to help save lives.
Professor Rubin’s work helps GPs diagnose cancer sooner. His research also aims to improve a cancer patient’s health care journey.
He is a senior investigator in the CanTest Collaborative, which conducts research on when, where and how patients should be tested for cancer, so that they cay can be diagnosed as early as possible and have the best chance of successful treatment.
Professor Rubin also leads the National Cancer Diagnosis Audit. The audit, which is backed by Public Health England, the NHS and Cancer Research UK, highlights how GPs and specialists are doing in achieving early diagnosis of cancer and where there might be scope for improvement.
He transferred from Durham to Newcastle University in August 2017, to continue his world-leading research and was awarded the Jane Wardle Prevention and Early Diagnosis Prize, by Cancer Research UK in November last year.
The Jane Wardle Prize recognises Professor Rubin as doing world-leading research to advance the prevention or early diagnosis of cancer.
His research has focussed particularly on understanding how primary care can contribute to the diagnosis of cancer. It’s had substantial impact on healthcare policy and practice.
It looks at how effective referral pathways and tests for cancer are. The findings guide how the NHS can allocate early diagnosis resources. His internationally-respected research also evaluates early diagnosis policies, including the one-stop cancer diagnosis clinics currently being piloted by the NHS.
Professor Rubin is a champion of the early diagnosis research community, due to his collaborative approach to research, education and mentoring.
Professor Rubin added: “By boosting funding right now, the best research teams will be able to develop innovative new tests and treatments, bring cures faster and save more lives.”
Jaelithe Leigh-Brown, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North East, said: “It’s time to make a stand and get payback on cancer for all the people whose lives have been cut short by this devastating disease.
“There are lots of fun ways to join the fight. You can get creative in the kitchen, get sponsored to stand out in orange at work or school, or take part in a sponsored wax or head shave. A free fundraising pack is available, full of fun and creative ways to conjure up crucial cash.”
She continued: “We are in a ‘golden age’ for cancer research and every pound raised by Stand Up To Cancer takes us a step closer to beating the disease. We will never throw in the towel. We believe this is a fight that we can win.”
People in the North East can also show their support for the campaign in style as a fun range of clothing and accessories for men, women and children is available now online and at Cancer Research UK shops from late September.
Stand Up To Cancer will culminate with an unforgettable night of live television on Friday, October 26.
To get involved visit standuptocancer.org.uk