giving men a better chance of beating prostate cancer
Our journey so far :
Early detection is the cure – and would save more than 11,000 lives lost to prostate cancer every year in the UK. For more information about the Appeal and to register, visit our website: www.octobeardfest.co.uk
All the money raised from the Appeal will be used to help fund a new 500 man trial run by Prof Hardev Pandha's cancer research team at the University of Surrey.
If successful, this will provide the extensive visibility, governance and a CE mark for a prostate cancer urine test that is 50% more accurate than the 30 year old PSA blood test.
A massive thank you to everyone who helped us achieve this amazing total; to all our incredible fundraisers, wonderfully generous donors, and business partners.
Press Release January 2015
A strengthened marketing team, additional budget and more midnight oil will hopefully see us reach a 3 year total of £1/4 million in 2015” says founder Tim Sharp.
Guildford based prostate cancer charity The Prostate Project, today announced the launch of OctoBeardFest 2015, the charity’s most successful ever fundraiser. The popular beard growing appeal was conceived and launched in 2013 by PP trustee Tim Sharp, with an expectation of raising £8,000. The total raised so far is an amazing £146,000. Tim hopes to raise a further £100,000 this year and reach a grand 3-year total of £1/4 million.
Prostate cancer thrives on the hormone testosterone, so blocking its production is a vital treatment. However, not all patients respond to the latest drugs. Much of the money raised from OBF in 2015 was spent on exosome research. These tiny particles, which can be extracted from blood, hold vital information which could determine why some patients respond and some don't.
The study is collecting samples from men on Enzalutamide (the first of the new drugs, now approved by NICE), a tablet treatment which blocks the function of the male hormone receptor. However, although an excellent drug, only approximately half the patients treated benefit from this agent. It may be due to the ‘shape’ of the male hormone receptor, and that an abnormal shape may mean enzalutamide cannot function properly.
Our research team (with Prof Tony Ng and Kings College London), is developing a blood test where it may be possible to identify potential responders and non-responders. Tiny particles extracted from blood called exosomes contain information about the shape of the receptor inside then. Breaking these particles apart in the test tube yields key information. The study to collect blood samples from men on enzalutamide who are responding or not responding is already ongoing (thanks to OBF Funding) but more funding is needed to ensure the study is completed early next year.
Planning for OctoBeardFest16 Appeal is under way so please let us know if you are able to help in any way either by growing a beard and fundraising or in a support role. Please contact Katherine Hammersley at email@example.com or call 07724 465883.
Huge thanks to everyone who has supported this very successful appeal.
OBF15 raised a total of £50,000 which enabled us to reach this fantastic 3 year total. All the money is supporting Professor Hardev Pandha’s world-class cancer research team at the University of Surrey. It is funding not only vital diagnostic research and clinical trials to create a simple, more accurate urine test to catch prostate cancer early, but also research into exosomes, which can reveal how aggressive the cancer is and determine the type of treatment needed.
Our University of Surrey research team is working with Prof Tony Ng and Kings College London to develop a blood test that may help predict which advanced prostate cancer patients will benefit from the new generation of hormone-targeting drugs.
Surrey pubs, clubs and businesses will be the main target for the appeal, as well as the general public. “It’s usually people who have been touched by prostate cancer that get involved with us”, said Tim. Prostate cancer kills11,000 men every year and the Prostate Project has been working hard for 17 years to reduce this figure”.
Last year’s total of £82,000 is being used to fund vital diagnostic research to help detect prostate cancer faster. Early detection can beat prostate cancer.
The money raised so far has been used to support a world-class cancer research team at the University of Surrey under the leadership of Professor Hardev Pandha. Their discovery of a protein in urine that can detect prostate cancer 50% more accurately than the 30-year old PSA test is undergoing final trials in September this year. Results are expected in July 2015 which will hopefully lead to rapid and widespread use in GPs surgeries. The test, called EN2, is a simple stick test similar to a pregnancy test. It will be less expensive, more acceptable to men and give much faster, more accurate results.
Professor Pandha said “This is just the beginning. We are discovering that urine is a treasure trove of information relating to prostate cancer. “This year’s Octobeardfest appeal money will be used to research exosomes, tiny particles that are constantly shed by cancer cells into urine. Their make up can reveal how aggressive the cancer is and the type of treatment needed. Previously it has taken up to 9 hours to extract exosomes from urine. Now, a new scientific kit can do the job in minutes, opening up exciting potential for faster, more accurate research.
The charity has some innovative new fundraising events and initiatives this year including an OctoBeardFest Surrey FootGolf League to be sponsored by the Surrey Advertiser. Hoebridge Golf Centre is the first to sign up and will donate 25% of all registered OBF players’ green fees for games played mid-week Monday to Friday.
The OBF marketing team will target pubs, clubs and businesses with a 15 minute drive of each participating Centre and encourage everyone to give up an hour to play 9 holes. 1 hour for 1 life. One man dies of prostate cancer every hour in the UK. Nine holes of FootGolf takes on average, 40 minutes.
For more information about the Prostate Project and OctoBeardFest contact www.prostate-project.org.uk or www.octobeardfest.co.uk.
Press Release, August 11th 2015