Broadcaster Michel Buerk, a long-serving patron of Guildford based prostate cancer charity, the Prostate Project, is again lending his support to the Charity’s 2016 OctoBeardFest beard-growing appeal.
Successfully launched in 2013, OctoBeardFest calls on men to surprise their friends, shock their wives/partners and help raise funds for prostate cancer research. They simply have to ditch their razors in October and get family and friends to sponsor their new look. Clipped and trendy or wild and woolly – it’s a fun way to help save many of the 11,000 lives lost every year to prostate cancer. To get involved, just register at the OBF website: www.octobeardfest.co.uk, set up a BT MyDonate fundraising page and get growing!
All the money raised so far (£200,000 plus) is being used to support a world-class cancer research team at the University of Surrey under the leadership of Professor Hardev Pandha. Their current work includes a vital 500 man clinical trial of the breakthrough EN2 urine test for prostate cancer, research to help measure how aggressive cancer is and the development of a blood test, in conjunction with Professor Ng of Kings College London, that will help predict which advanced prostate cancer patients will benefit from the new generation of powerful hormone-targeting drugs.
Prostate cancer thrives on the hormone testosterone, so blocking its production is a vital treatment. But not all patients respond to the latest drugs. Much of the money raised from OBF in 2105 was spent on exosome research. These tiny particles, which can be extracted from blood, hold vital information which could determine why some patients respond and some don’t. A new study is underway is collecting samples from men on Enzalutamide – the first of the new drugs, now approved by NICE – to discover who is or is not responding to treatment. Results are expected early in 2017.
The Prostate Project is a volunteer led charity with no offices or paid staff. Administration costs are below 4% resulting in at least 96 pence of every pound going directly to the point of need.