Last month, we ran the below story on a Winford family raising funds for vital research for their daughter, they are now holding a fun event in the village to raise funds.

Jan Clark, whose daughter was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2020, describes the diagnosis and the vital research being carried out to help her daughter, and others suffering: “Back in April 2020, at the beginning of the Covid pandemic, one of our daughters at the age of twenty was called into Southmead Hospital, Bristol, to be told that she had incurable stage 4 lung cancer.

“Of course, you don’t believe this is even possible as young people with no symptoms don’t get lung cancer, do they? Five days later, after running biomarker testing on her cancer, we learned that she had tested positive for a rare non-hereditary genetic mutation called ALK (or Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase).

“The good news was that she could be treated with an oral and tolerable medicine and not radiotherapy or chemotherapy. The not so good news is that one day – which may come in six months or in six years – she will become resistant to the medicine.

“To give our daughter and other people like her a fighting chance, the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London wants to run new research to find out why drug resistance happens in genetic-mutation driven cancers like ALK – which can occur anywhere in the body. Ultimately this research will help other cancers as well.

“We know one reason cancer can be so difficult to treat is that it is so complex and genetically diverse, allowing it to adapt and evolve.

“The latest advances in science tell us that cancer evolves within a complex ecosystem of cells, signals and the immune system.”

Dr Paul Huang at the ICR, one of the world’s leading cancer research organisations, is taking on one of the biggest challenges in cancer research and one of the biggest contributors to cancer deaths worldwide: drug resistance. Solving this problem will bring us one step closer to improving cure rates in patients.

His team at the ICR’s Huang Lab seeks to understand the underlying reasons why tumours develop resistance and find new ways to effectively treat patients with acquired drug resistance. In doing so, they also aim to discover more accurate methods to stratify and predict which patients are likely to receive long-term benefit from therapies designed to target the genetic mutations driving their cancers.

Focusing on lung cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide and has particularly poor patient outcomes, Dr Huang’s team have a track record in the successful use of cutting-edge research techniques to deliver new strategies for combating drug resistance and identifying robust predictive and prognostic tests.

Jan continued: “It’s expected that one in every two of us will develop cancer in our lifetime.

“We are coming together as a family to raise money for vital game changing research, not just for our young daughter but for people everywhere across the UK who may one day hear similar devastating news.

“Please support our Fete on August 13th in Winford. This will take place the day after thirty five of us take part in the Badminton Tough Mudder on August 12th.

“It will be fun for all while raising money for a fantastic and hopefully life-changing project.”