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Funding research into RMS

A diagnosis of Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a truly devastating one as there are currently no effective targeted treatments for the aggressive form of this disease (that Talan had).

Talan’s Trust are determined to help change this.

In the first year following Talan’s death in May 2017 the supporters of Talan’s Trust raised over £30,000. This money has been used (via the Chris Lucas Trust) to support the work of a full time RMS researcher, working at the Institute for Cancer Research (ICR).

In February 2020, thanks to the incredible ongoing support for Talan’s Trust, we have been able to make a further donation of £20,000 in Talan’s name to the ICR.

The Institute of Cancer Research

In December 2018, we were delighted to visit the Institute of Cancer Research at the Royal Marsden Hospital and to meet the researchers working on RMS. We attended with Lynn and Lynn Lucas from the Chris Lucas Trust and were given an excellent presentation about current research into rhabdomyosarcoma. We then visited the research laboratory, we were also shown some of the work which the team are doing to find a cure for this particular type of sarcoma cancer.

Why is the research needed? 

The Chris Lucas Trust explains:

Little is known about the underlying biology of childhood cancers, and children still tend to be treated with older-style, un-specific and toxic chemotherapy drugs designed for adults, so the side-effects can be harmful. We believe the way to improve outcomes for children with poor-prognosis cancers is to support research to understand the whole disease process, from the initial genetic changes to the molecular features of tumours themselves, and to use this information to pinpoint new treatment targets on the tumour cells.

This will enable the development of new targeted therapies which are more precise in their action and less likely to cause side-effects. Our scientists then seek to either match an existing targeted therapy to the tumour or, if one does not exist, to design a new one. Our aim is to develop tailored treatments for all children, in the fastest possible time, with maximum benefit and minimum side-effects.

About the ICR:

Here at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) our 800-strong body of scientists and clinicians are working on a broad spectrum of research, from understanding the underlying biological causes of cancer through to designing and testing the latest cutting-edge therapies.

In the last 100 years, our discoveries have played an important role in shaping modern understanding of cancer and how it can be treated.

Today we lead the world in revealing the genetic diversity and complexity of cancer, and exploiting these findings to develop new and better treatments. This is especially important in childhood and teenage cancers, where treatments still tend to be older-style, unspecific and toxic chemotherapy drugs designed for adults, so the side-effects can be very harmful.

One such scientist trying to find kinder and better treatments for a group of cancers known as rhabdomyosarcomas is Professor Janet Shipley. Talan’s Trust, in partnership with The Chris Lucas Trust, are generously supporting a scientist in Professor Shipley’s laboratory to identify biological features of high-risk rhabdomyosarcomas and therapeutic strategies that will improve the treatment of patients with these sarcomas. Thanks to the continuing and generous support of these two charities, we are aiming to build a better understanding of rhabdomyosarcoma, as well as other sarcomas, and to improve treatment for patients by:

· Uncovering the underlying biological mechanisms at work in rhabdomyoarcoma and other sarcoma cells.

· Performing proof-of principle experiments on promising drugs and drug combinations.

· Using our expertise to contribute to international trials for potential new treatments.