— The Josh Carrick Foundation

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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Erik Sahai

 

 

STUDYING CANCER SPREAD
Dr Erik Sahai and his team at the Francis Crick Institute in London are experts in studying how cancer cells spread. To do this, they look at not just cancer cells, but all the different cell types that can be found in and around a tumour – we now know these play a vital role in aiding and abetting cancer cells and their ability to move around the body. Recently, they have published some exciting results and we are thrilled to share them with you in this update.

About 90% of cancer deaths are caused when cancer cells escape from the primary site of disease and travel to new sites within the body to form secondary tumours. Halting this process is one of the biggest challenges in treating cancer, but could reap great rewards. It is also a challenge to keep cancer that has already spread under control. But by studying how the cancer cells uproot and move, scientists hope to develop new therapies to target this process. New treatment options for people with secondary cancer are urgently needed, so work like this is vital.

SWITCHING FROM FRIEND TO FOE
In a study published in December 2015, Dr Sahai and his team discovered how cells that usually help repair wounds can switch from friend to foe – and instead escalate tumour growth and cancer spread.

We know that cells in the body are surrounded by a network called the extracellular matrix, which gives tissues like our skin their structure. During wound healing in healthy tissue, cells called fibroblasts repair damaged parts of this network. But when fibroblasts surround cancer cells, it turns out that they change the matrix in a way that encourages cancer cells to spread.

Dr Sahai has discovered that the cancer cells trick fibroblasts into producing increased amounts of a molecule called Cdc42EP3. Too much of this molecule makes fibroblasts stronger and better at changing the matrix – this in turn allows more blood vessels to feed the tumour – helping it to grow and spread.

“This exciting research reveals another way in which cancer can hijack the body’s wound healing process to help a tumour grow and spread. This work will help us to find ways to stop cancer cells tricking fibroblasts into inadvertently nurturing them, in the same way they would a wound that the body must repair.” – Dr Erik Sahai

This important work shows that cancer cells alone cannot ensure the survival of a tumour. Cancer cells recruit other types of cells, manipulate their environment, and evade our body’s natural defences to develop and grow into tumours. Our new knowledge that they are able to trick fibroblast cells, turning them from friend to foe, is a crucial step in our understanding of how cancer spreads, and importantly, it provides new avenues of research to stop the disease in its tracks.

NEW HOME AT THE CRICK
Later this year, Dr Sahai and his team will be moving into the brand new Francis Crick Institute in London. The Francis Crick Institute brings together Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council – three of the world’s greatest funders of medical research and innovation – and the intellectual powerhouses of University College London, King’s College London, and Imperial College London, to create an unprecedented crucible of scientific talent and creativity.

By attracting scientists like Dr Sahai, along with the best scientists and clinicians from around the world, and infusing them with the Crick philosophy of collaboration and sharing, the Francis Crick Institute will become the focal point for pioneering discoveries to combat all of the major threats to human health today – cancer, ageing, metabolic disease, infection, neurodegenerative disorders and diabetes. And the Institute is perfectly placed, amongst some of the world’s most distinguished hospitals, to fulfil its commitment to turning the latest laboratory discoveries into the next generation of medical breakthroughs. We can’t wait to see what this exciting transition will help Dr Sahai and his team achieve.

Thank you for being a part of this important work, and for allowing the continued investigation of some of the deepest questions in cancer biology, helping us bring forward the day when all cancers can be cured.

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