Bradford is world-renowned for being a pioneer in cancer research. And today the Telegraph & Argus is announcing its biggest campaign for more than a decade – to raise £1 million towards making the city’s ground-breaking work to fight the disease ten times faster than ever before.
In 2011, scientists at the University of Bradford hit the international headlines when they revealed a pioneering ‘smart bomb’ tumour-blasting treatment – a therapy which could dramatically reduce the horrendous side effects of chemotherapy suffered by cancer patients in the district and across the world.
This was thanks, in part, to generous T&A readers, who 12 years ago helped raise £1 million towards building the University's state-of-the-art Institute of Cancer Therapeutics (ICT), where the breakthrough was made.
A massive fundraising drive meant the target was reached in only 16 months, triggering a further £5 million investment by Cancer Research UK.
You smashed the target in our Bradford Can... cancer appeal in 2001 and we’re asking for your help once again.
We want to further cement the city’s reputation as a leader in cancer research by raising cash for a cutting-edge machine, which will allow the University’s scientists to carry out their work ten times quicker.
The high-tech mass spectrometer, which will replace a slower, five-year-old machine, could hold the key to them making a vital discovery in the war on cancer.
But that battle is costly, so we have joined forces with the University, charity Yorkshire Cancer Research and principal supporter the Sovereign Health Care Charitable Trust, to mount the Telegraph & Argus Bradford Crocus Cancer Appeal.
The campaign is named after the British native autumn flower, which has become a symbol of the ICT’s success and the potential of what it can achieve. Its ‘smart bomb’ – which has the ability to find and destroy solid tumours – was derived from colchicine, a natural compound found in the plant.
The drug, being developed by spin-out company Incanthera, is due to begin clinical trials later this year.
And who knows what other discoveries could be made at the ICT if its scientists have the best equipment.
Professor Laurence Patterson, director of the facility, said: “We want to get the people of Bradford behind this and to be proud of the fact there is this cancer research going on in Bradford. “ Cancer blights all of our lives and one in three of us will suffer from one form of cancer in our lifetime.
This means it is likely all of us will know a family member or friend who has endured the shock of diagnosis and the pain of treatment.
Over the coming weeks you’ll be finding out about the work being done in Bradford to tackle cancer and what the £1m could achieve.
You will also read about those who have suffered through the disease and the impact cancer treatment had on their lives.
T&A editor Perry Austin-Clarke said: “As editor, I am enormously proud of what the readers of the Telegraph & Argus did with the Bradford Can... appeal and it has been thrilling to see just how much has been achieved since through the ICT that arose from it.
“The commitment, determination and generosity of readers in raising that first £1 million has helped prove that with your support we can, right here in Bradford, make a real difference in the fight against cancer.
“The work being done by Prof Patterson and his team is truly exciting and ground-breaking on a world scale and it’s vital that we do all we can to help them continue their efforts to develop new cancer treatments here in our city.
“We will all, at some stage in our life, be touched – directly or indirectly – by the destructive power of cancer and that’s why we are asking every reader to join us in helping to take Bradford’s pioneering efforts to beat it to the next level.
“It doesn’t matter what you do or how you do it – be it saving a few pence in a piggy bank, holding a jumble sale or running a marathon – your contribution is vital and will be gratefully received.”
Charles Rowett, chief executive officer of Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “We are delighted to have been supporting Prof Patterson and his ICT for many years.
“This appeal is vital for continuing the work that is being pioneered in Bradford.”
Sovereign Health Care chief executive Russ Piper revealed the Sovereign Health Care Charitable Trust would donate £50,000 for every £200,000 raised – a potential total donation of £200,000.
He said: “Sovereign has been in Bradford since 1873. Health and healthcare is our business and we have a strong focus on our local charities. Supporting this campaign was a very easy decision for us to make.”
We know our readers, who have displayed astonishing generosity before, will support us once again.
Whether it is by holding a school non-uniform day or raffle, or more intense fundraising feats like running a marathon or a sponsored bike ride, every penny will go to ensuring cancer research in Bradford carries on at pace.
We will feature your stories in the T&A every step along the way and we know – like before – we can do it together.