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Italian rugby league team tackle some bulb-planting to back £1 million campaign
The Italian rugby league team did their bit to help tackle cancer by planting bulbs in support of the Telegraph & Argus Bradford Crocus Cancer Appeal.
Members of the national squad took time out of their busy Rugby League World Cup 2013 training schedule to plant crocus bulbs at the University of Bradford and back our £1 million fundraising campaign.
The players, who have been training in the region as they make their World Cup debut, dug in by planting bulbs in the University’s Peace Garden yesterday.
Earlier this year, we announced our campaign to raise £1 million to buy the University’s Institute of Cancer Therapeutics (ICT) a new proteomic mass spectrometer, which could hold the key to its scientists pioneering less-toxic cancer treatments.
The autumn crocus has become a symbol of what can be achieved by the ICT’s researchers, who took a natural compound from the native British flower, called colchicine, to create a new chemical entity designed to find and destroy all forms of solid tumour.
In 2011, its scientists hit the international headlines when they unveiled their pioneering ‘smart bomb’ tumour-blasting treatment, which is due to begin clinical trials next year.
The therapy has been dubbed a ‘smart bomb’ because it only becomes active and detonates when in contact with an enzyme released by a cancerous tumour, which means once a tumour is targeted it breaks up the blood vessels sustaining the cancer and starves it.
This means the drug is unlikely to have any of the side-effects on healthy tissue commonly seen in chemotherapy treatments.
A new mass spectrometer will allow scientists at the ICT to study the role of proteins in cancer ten times quicker than ever before and it is hoped could hail similar breakthroughs in the war on cancer.
Professor Laurence Patterson, director of the ICT, said: “I’m really pleased these sportsmen are supporting this local cause, it is brilliant that more and more people and businesses are getting involved in our £1 million appeal.
“We want to get the people of our community behind this and to be proud of the fact that this cancer research is happening in Bradford.”