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Update Report: The Platinum Study

While we are close to achieving 95 per cent cure rates for testicular cancer, it is more important than ever that we ensure survivors are able to enjoy a good quality of life beyond cancer. The highly effective anti-cancer drug, cisplatin, is routinely prescribed to testicular cancer patients. However, some of its side-effects can have a detrimental effect to patients in their survivorship years. The more significant side-effects include losing the senses of taste and hearing, permanent numbness in fingers and toes, and kidney damage. For many patients, this can significantly impact on their ability to maintain employment or cause them to become heavily reliant upon healthcare for the rest of their lives.

In the Platinum Study, Professor Huddart and his team are investigating the more severe side-effects experienced by patients with the aim of identifying which DNA variations are associated with the toxicity caused by cisplatin. The goal is to develop a robust description of cisplatin-induced symptoms, as well as genetic screening toolkits to predict which patients will experience symptoms before they receive treatment. This will allow doctors to adapt the treatment accordingly to create a more personalised plan for each patient.

Our expert staff
At the beginning of January 2016, Ms Kay Ling joined Professor Huddart on a part-time basis. As Data Manager, Ms Ling is co-ordinating and organising the trial, including recruiting patients and collating data.

The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and the Biomedical Research Centre have provided additional funding for the trial’s Research Nurse. We are pleased to report that Ms Bernadette Johnson has been appointed to this role. Ms Johnson will support Ms Ling in recruiting, collecting, and processing blood samples as well as provide senior oversight and support.

Our patient recruitment progress so far
Ms Ling was instrumental in preparing the necessary documents to achieve ethical approvals to open the study, which launched as planned in March 2016. Each participant is asked to complete a questionnaire about their background and current health, supply a blood test, provide vital signs and undergo a hearing test.

We have established that a large number of the patient population who attend our weekly testicular cancer clinic are eligible for the study. Patient response has been excellent so far, with many keen to participate and share their experiences of chemotherapy.

Since the study opened, we have recruited on average four to five patients per week and currently have 95 enrolled. We are confident we will reach our target of recruiting 100 participants by the end of 2016 and are working towards our study target total of 400-600 participants.

A future beyond cancer
Each patient deserves the very best treatment and care we can give and we are proud of the pioneering work led by Professor Huddart and his team at The Royal Marsden.

The results of this study will contribute to a higher standard of care, where treatments are better directed to ensure survivors are able to enjoy life beyond cancer. We also hope our work will inspire the development of less toxic treatments for future patients.

It is only thanks to The Josh Carrick Foundation, and your passionate fundraisers and supporters, that we are able to continue this vital research, and for that we remain sincerely grateful.

A message from Professor Huddart:

Dr Robert Huddart

“This study has the potential to change the lives of testicular cancer patients around the world, but none of our work would be possible without the generous support of The Josh Carrick Foundation and all your incredible fundraisers and donors. Thank you so much.”

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Such a great day!

We began with a ritual burger the night before, headed off from Clapham Common in the morning and wound our way out of London through bizarrely traffic-free streets. Some parts were scary (anything downhill!), some parts were hard going (anything uphill, Ditchling Beacon!), all of the countryside was unquestionably beautiful.

A great lunch at Turner’s Hill split the ride into two manageable stretches – seeing a field full of hungry cyclists tucking in gives you a real sense of the care and enthusiasm everybody has for their respective causes. This feeling was only strengthened by the constant encouragement and banter between the riders and by the patience and concern shown by most of the drivers who passed us.

Despite taking a 10 mile detour and arriving an hour later than expected I was seen in by a cheering crowd and by my family. I decided to jump off and let my eldest son do the final stretch… I asked him what he thought of it and he replied: “being on the bike was fantastic”. I hope he was impressed by my efforts as well!

Post dip in the sea, long soak in the bath, and celebratory drink and I still walk like a cowboy – but this is easily ignored when I think about all of the money we’ve raised for such a great cause! Roll on 2017 :)
James Lloyd

Read the skyline and do it for charity event write up here.

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Over the past weekend, Joe Camilleri of the Savills UK Finance team successfully completed the Thames Path Challenge, walking 100km along the Thames Path from Putney Bridge to Henley in aid of The Josh Carrick Foundation.

Joe and his partner Shanan Dunstan (pictured at the 50km mark and at the finish) completed the challenge in 25 hours and 5 minutes. They walked through the heavy rain, cold night and dense fog, battling fatigue and blisters with 2,500 other equally motivated participants.

Between them, Joe and his partner have raised nearly £1,000 for The Josh Carrick Foundation by undertaking this challenge. The timing of the challenge this year proved quite poignant as it coincided with what would have been Josh Carrick’s 28th birthday.

A big thank you to Joe and Shanan from all of us at the Josh Carrick Foundation.

Should you wish to donate, Joe’s fundraising page can be found here

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Dr Victoria Harris, Dr Melissa Tan and Dr Robert Huddart worked on the IMPART trial

Dr Victoria Harris, Dr Melissa Tan and Dr Robert Huddart worked on the IMPART trial

“We are so grateful to The Josh Carrick Foundation and all your amazing fundraisers and supporters for funding research at The Royal Marsden to help improve the quality of life for testicular cancer survivors. More people than ever are surviving testicular cancer, however many suffer from long-term side-effects like nerve damage and hearing loss. Your donations are helping us to investigate if genetics determine who will develop these severe symptoms, and the resulting information will help direct treatment so survivors can enjoy a better life after cancer. This life-changing research would not be possible without your support, and for that we are immensely thankful.” - Dr Robert Huddart

Our progress so far
We have recruited our first 40 participants and are recruiting four to five cancer survivors each week, meaning we are on target to recruit between 400-600 people. Each participant is asked to complete a questionnaire about their background and current health, supply a blood test, and undergo a hearing test.

Once we have collected all the samples, we will identify the variations in genes associated with causing permanent neurological damage. This will then be compared to the details of each person’s lifestyle, specifically highlighting who has or has not experienced toxic side-effects.

A better quality of life for survivors
Our goal is to develop a robust description of cisplatin-induced symptoms as well as genetic screening toolkits to predict who will experience symptoms before they receive treatment. Ultimately, we hope this work will better direct treatment to ensure survivors are able to enjoy life beyond cancer, as well as inspire the development of less toxic treatments for future patients.

This research has the real potential to change countless lives and it is only possible thanks to The Josh Carrick Foundation and all your wonderful supporters. On behalf of everyone at The Royal Marsden, we offer our most sincere gratitude to you for your incredible passion and dedication to raising funds for our project. Together, we will be able to make life more comfortable for patients and give them a future beyond cancer.

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Sarah Lindau’s Isle of Wight Challenge story! 

106km covered in 28hrs and 46 minutes..who ever coined the phrase ‘walk in the park’ clearly hadn’t done the Isle of Wight Challenge!

Blisters, severe dehydration and lack of sleep (not to mention the toenails that didn’t live to tell the tale) made this one of the toughest challenges I have ever faced..but also one of the most rewarding. I cannot thank everyone enough for their generous donations which helped raise over £1,200 for JCF.

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The team at the Josh Carrcik Foundation are proud to have been able to donate £45,000 to the Royal Marsden to help fund Professor Huddart’s Platinum Study  – thank you to all our supporters, we could not have done this without you.

Royal Marsden

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Very proud and happy that two such fantastic people have been awarded the Prime Ministers Point of Light Award. Huge congratulations to Steve and Arlene!

Prime Minister Recognises Parents Fighting Cancer in Honour of their Son

In 2010 Steve and Arlene’s son Josh was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He was just 22 years old and about to attend the induction day for his dream job at IBM. After graduating with a degree in computer science Josh was looking forward to a bright future but unfortunately the cancer took his life just twelve months later. His family and friends were devastated at the loss of such a bright and brilliant man and wanted to do something to honour his memory. In 2012 they applied to become a registered charity and set up the Josh Carrick Foundation.

Steve and Arlene felt there was a lack of research and exposure for the cancer. Along with their son Dominic; Josh’s girlfriend; and nine fellow graduates and friends from the University of Nottingham they set up the charity with the aim of becoming one of the leading contributors to testicular cancer research in the UK. Underpinning this ambition was an extraordinary group of people united in the common purpose of alleviating the suffering which testicular cancer inflicts. In partnership with Cancer Research UK, IBM and the University of Nottingham they have become a significant force in the fight against cancer.

So that Josh’s memory could continue to inspire, IBM provided a £100 prize for the top-performing first year student in the School of Computer Science at the University, plus a visit to its UK innovation labs for the top five students. For Josh’s family and friends, the fact that Josh’s energy continues to live through the work of other students gives them comfort that his memory and legacy will never be forgotten.

The charity has directly supported two projects at the forefront of tackling testicular cancer by providing regular, annual funding. To date they have raised over £300,000 and they are now on the lookout for a third project to support.

www.pointsoflight.gov.uk/funding-cancer-research/ 

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A huge thank you from all of us at The Josh Carrick Foundation. Your support and donations really make a difference. This is Dr Erik Sahai whose research we fund.

You can read more about his research here.

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London to Brighton bike ride 2013

This year the London to Brighton Bike Ride is taking place on 11 September. To register your interest email Steve@thejoshcarrickfoundation.org

Take a look at last year’s event to see why so many people sign up to take part each year! Watch video

 

 

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