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Spring update 2017

CRC newsletterWarwick Cancer Research Centre
Supporter newsletter - Spring 2017

Warwick Cancer Research Centre (WCRC) is at the forefront of some innovative and exciting studies that will directly impact patients with cancer. We bring together experts from medicine, life sciences, chemistry, mathematics, engineering and economics with the belief that transformational research happens when disciplines meet.

  • Colleagues in Chemistry and the Medical School are developing nanotechnology to deliver chemotherapy drugs directly to tumours, alleviating the harmful toxicity of intravenous drug delivery.
  • We’re finding new ways to detect cancer biomarkers. This will lead to blood and urine tests which will let us to diagnose cancer faster and apply personalised cancer therapy.
  • Our work on the body’s internal clock is allowing us to target chemotherapy to individual patients at the best time of day so they can avoid unwanted side effects.

I have been involved in cancer research for over 30 years with specific interests in the molecular mechanisms responsible for cancer development and in the development of novel anti-cancer therapies.

Lawrence Young

There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in cancer research and the WCRC is actively contributing to this cancer revolution. We’re inspired to make a difference to cancer patients, and to ensure that anything we do is rapidly developed to benefit our local community as well as patients across the world.

I hope you enjoy this newsletter, and would be keen to hear your news, views and stories - you can email us via

Professor Lawrence Young

Director, Warwick Cancer Research Centre

Meet Bindy Heer

Bindy Heer

When we receive ‘unrestricted’ donations, we put them to the area of greatest need. This year, your gifts have helped the Chemistry team recruit an incredible new lab assistant, Bindy Heer. She’s working with the team who create new anti-cancer drugs. Professor Peter Sadler said:

“Bindy’s experiences with cell culture and with methods for evaluating the effects of anti-cancer compounds on cancer cells are making very valuable contributions to our efforts to discover new drugs and translate them toward the clinic.

“With her help, our rate of screening new compounds has increased significantly and the data she is producing has become highly valued by the medicinal chemists in our lab who are carrying out the synthesis and mechanism of action studies. She’s an excellent, vital member of our team and we’re phenomenally grateful for the support which brought her to us.”

Charity of the Year 2016-17

The Lord Mayor of Coventry made us one of his nominated charities of 2016-17 – could your organisation follow in his footsteps? If you could help to raise our profile and vital funds for our work, email us today.

Fy26Research headlines

Killing cancer cells

Researchers have witnessed - for the first time - cancer cells being targeted and destroyed from the inside, by an organo-metal compound discovered by Warwick.

Find out more about the advancements with FY26, our creation which is 50x more active than metal drugs used in current cancer treatments. Keep reading

Working with Chinese partners to tackle deadly tumours

We’re working with Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Centre (SYSUCC) in China to help target nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a cancer of the head and neck which is extremely prevalent over there.

Their biologists have found out how to target those specific cancer cells, and our chemists have created the cutting-edge medicine to target them and leave the healthy cells unharmed. Professor Lawrence Young said:

“It is very exciting to bring together multidisciplinary expertise across the two universities to tackle this deadly tumour. The lessons we are learning could also be applied to cancers that are more common in the West.” Keep reading

Preventing clots caused by cancer

Professor Annie Young’s team at Warwick has a track record in thrombosis research in cancer patients. A thrombus is a blood clot in a vein, most dangerously in deep veins in the legs or the pelvis. If it breaks away and reaches the lungs, it can become a potentially life-threatening pulmonary embolism.

Cancer and anti-cancer treatments are known risk factors for thrombosis, and sadly some patients have a higher risk of thrombosis and early death by pulmonary embolism following surgery. High-risk patients include those with bladder cancer; those with a high number of tumours; and those undergoing platinum-based chemotherapy treatments.

Until now, thrombosis has been managed and treated by daily injections. Our team is developing new anti-clotting tablets, which will be safer, more efficient, and less expensive than existing ones. These treatments will be oral rather than through daily injections, which will help improve the quality of life for patients. We look forward to reporting back on our progress.

Charlotte Ridley and her daughterInspired by your strength

“I was diagnosed with Lymphoma on 28th August, one year to the day that my mother had died from ovarian cancer. It is burnt into my brain."

Charlotte Ridley, mum-of-two, staff member, and cancer survivor talks about why she supports research to create better drugs and reduce side-effects of treatment.

Read Charlotte's story today

Would you like to share your story too? Email us at

Fundraising updates

Amazing volunteers

Thank you to all our brilliant fundraisers for raising £70,000 for cancer research at Warwick over the last year. 100% of every gift, including Gift Aid, goes straight to our work.


Maria Maccallum (IT Services, Warwick), set herself some impressive challenges this year including a 10k run, half marathon, and her first ever triathlon. She’s raised over £300 for cancer research so far, and money for our research into premature birth too.

“I really wanted to help with raising money into good causes at the University because I feel that no money is wasted; it all goes to the right places, helping some of the best research possible right here on campus.

“It excites me that we can help to better the future for all of us. I love giving myself challenges and I felt it would only be fair that I do something that I'd not done before if I was asking for sponsors. I enjoyed every minute of each challenge I set myself and I will definitely be doing more half marathons and triathlons!”

If you’d like to set yourself a challenge for 2017, or join one of our planned events, please get in touch or search #TeamWarwickUni on Facebook

Roar of support

A roar of support

We’re very grateful to the Coventry Godiva Lions for their gift of £1,001 to our cancer research. Pictured: members of the Lion’s committee visiting our Chemistry labs to see how their money will help develop new anti-cancer drugs.

Giving cancer a dressing down

We're delighted to report that the funds from the Warwick Dress Down day in December 2016 are now hard at work in the chemistry labs here on campus, helping Professor Peter Sadler and his team to use their Flow Cytometer in cancer cell work. Find out more



The Warwick Cancer Research Centre Open Evening

Wednesday 26 April 2017, Warwick Medical School

We’ll be offering refreshments from 6pm, then from 6.30pm you can hear from our researchers who are leading the way in the NHS in automated scanning for faster and more accurate grading of cancers and swifter commencement of treatment.

The event will be pitched at all audiences:  find out more and book your place online now.

Lord Mayor’s Charity Ball

Friday 24 March 2017, Coventry Transport Museum

Tickets cost £40 each to include a drinks reception, meal and musical entertainment. Buy yours today by contacting Jane on or 024 7683 3047.

Could you give a unique prize for the evening’s auction and raffle? If you can help, let us know.