The importance of the Telegraph & Argus Crocus Cancer Appeal was set out in a lecture to students at the University of Bradford this week.

Professor Laurence Patterson told 25 students of the background to the campaign to raise £1 million towards making the pioneering research that already happens in Bradford ten times faster.

His talk, entitled ‘Treating Cancer with a Crocus’, featured the six hallmarks of cancer, the future of cancer treatment and diagnosis of cancer, the top six causes of the disease, how it begins and spreads, and who is most likely to suffer from it.

Prof Patterson, who heads up the university’s £10 million Institute of Cancer Therapeutics, also told how the team’s ground-breaking ‘smart bomb’ tumour-blasting therapy, was in the early stages of clinical trials.

He described how the ‘smart bomb’ treatment was designed to find and destroy all forms of solid tumour while leaving healthy tissue unharmed. It could improve the life expectancy of cancer patients because it causes a significant delay in tumour growth and could be a potential cure when used in combination therapy.

It would mean patients need treatment less regularly, causing less disruption for people suffering the trauma of cancer.

The Crocus appeal is aiming to buy the Institute a new proteomic mass spectrometer.

Prof Patterson had said previously that the cutting- edge machine will allow its researchers to study tens of thousands of proteins, which play a key role in cancer, at the same time.

This is about ten times more than it can at the moment and could hold the key to making its next big discovery even faster.

Prof Patterson, who described the Telegraph & Argus as “past masters” at similar kinds of fundraising appeals, also thanked the students for the part they have played in helping to raise money for the appeal.

He said: “You have been supporting the Crocus Cancer Appeal and I cannot thank you enough for that support.

“The university has not had a very good track record at charitable fundraising.

“But as a result of the Crocus Cancer Appeal, the university now has a proper charity fundraising team.”