Roger triples his Channel target


ROGER Allsopp has raised three times as much money as he hoped for by swimming the English Channel. Mr Allsopp, chairman of Hope for Guernsey, had a target of £15,000 to fund research into detecting breast cancer at an early stage when he swam the 26 miles from England to France on 31 August. ‘In the event, the response has been overwhelming and the fund for this research has reached £43,000,’ said the retired Medical Specialist Group surgeon, 65

The response from the people of Guernsey has been fantastic. It seems that people’s generosity knows no bounds,’ he said.  The cash has been used to fund a project using blood and urine samples from thousands of Guernsey women that aims to determine whether the onset of cancer can be predicted by blood.  Mr Allsopp thanked supporters and said the fund-raising total meant researchers could now take the studies to a point which, until now, has been undreamed of. Using blood and urine samples collected from 11,000 Guernsey women over 20 years, UK medical scientists aim to discover protein markers that signal the onset of the breast cancer years before symptoms emerge.  Researcher Dr Paul Townsend said studies with the Guernsey samples in the 1990s led to the discovery that high circulating levels of oestrogen were related to a high incidence of breast cancer and, through global clinical trials to the generation of the drug, Tamoxifen.  ‘It is a fantastic drug and is now used throughout the world,’ said Dr Townsend.  And he said future research into proteins in the samples could yield further, exciting breakthroughs in the detection of cancer.  The blood and urine samples from Guernsey were all stored at -20C in the UK and should last for many years, allowing research into the early signs of cancer to continue into the future. It all costs money, but it was hoped that Mr Allsopp’s fund-raising efforts should have ensured it continued for years to come.
An initial large donation from a friend in the UK started the fund.
Healthspan chief executive Derek Coates offered to match donations up to £15,000 and a further substantial donation from breast cancer support charity the Pink Ladies swiftly followed.  Many individual people also put their hands into their pockets and Mr Allsopp thanked all who helped.

GEP Article 25th October 2006

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