Rock legends raise funds for photodynamic therapy 

24/01/2011 00:00 

Rock legends from across the decades joined forces for a charity gig to raise funds for a groundbreaking cancer treatment which was pioneered at UCLH.

Bryan Adams with patient

Bryan Adams sings duet with patient Teri Hargreaves

Iconic bands and artists including The Who, Jeff Beck, Bryan Adams, Richard Ashcroft and Debbie Harry played a concert for the charity KILLING Cancer to increase awareness and fund trials into photodynamic therapy (PDT).

They took centre stage at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo on January 13.

PDT is a technique in which patients are given special drugs that make certain cancers sensitive to red light. Light from a laser can then be applied directly to the tumour to destroy the cancers. The therapy has the potential to reduce side effects, compared with conventional cancer treatments, and improve the quality of life for patients.

One of the stars of the concert, Bryan Adams, asked if he could sing a duet with a patient.  Teri Hargreaves from Bolton was one of the first patients treated by consultant head and neck surgeon Colin Hopper for a vascular tumour three years ago.

Bryan said `She was amazing. She came on stage and explained how PDT and Colin Hopper had destroyed the tumour that was increasingly destroying her life.’

Teri said `If it wasn’t for KILLING Cancer, Colin Hopper and his team, I would have a very different life. I now have my life back, and for that I am so very grateful.’

UCLH is the UK leader in this innovative approach. PDT is of particular value for treating a range of pre-cancers and early cancers of the skin (not melanomas) as the cosmetic results are so good.

Roger Daltrey, Jeff Beck, Bryan Adams, Pete Townshend and Debbie Harry.

Roger Daltrey, Jeff Beck, Bryan Adams, Pete Townshend and Debbie Harry.

The Trust has the largest programme in Europe using PDT in the treatment of cancers of the mouth, totaling more than 1,000 patients. The gig raised £250,000 – enough money to fund a trial into the use of PDT for pancreatic cancer for a year.

In addition to its established PDT work, UCLH works very closely with UCL (University College London) on a host of research projects on cancer therapy. UCL and UCLH provide an excellent environment for innovative new cancer treatments to be developed from the laboratory, through clinical trials into routine practice. PDT research programmes at UCLH are designed to establish when the therapy can be most beneficial to patients, either on its own or in combination with other treatments such as surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.


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