Potential new testing for prostate cancer thanks to Run for the Future

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Money raised by the thousands of runners who have taken part in Run for the Future has funded ground-breaking research into prostate cancer in Bristol.

Over the past five years nearly 200,000 has been raised through the event to fund research at the Bristol Urological Institute at Southmead Hospital.

Three key projects supported by the Prostate Cancer Appeal at the BUI have received funding from Run for the Future:

A three year project to look at genetic markers of prostate cancers that can identify which cancers are more aggressive. This could enable clinicians to make better informed decisions about how they treat the prostate cancer. The money funded two researcher posts in association with the University of the West of England and will now continue for another 3 years.

A project to develop a urine test to diagnose prostate cancer. It is hoped this test could be a more decisive and effective than the current PSA blood test.

Funding a research nurse who will soon begin a project to look at how prostate cancer affects men and their families and whether improving their lifestyle, exercise and general vitality can help fight the disease.

Run for the Future was established in 2005 by Rotary in Bristol to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Appeal at the BUI.

This year’s event will take place on Sunday September 18 2011 on the Durdham Downs, Clifton.

The 5k course is for families and people of all ages to come together and show their support against prostate cancer.

Participants can either run, walk or jog the course.

David Gillatt, medical director of the BUI, said: “These projects are helping us to make great strides in our understanding of prostate cancer and how to treat it.

“Many men can live with prostate cancer for the rest of their lives and not have any symptoms.

“One of the key benefits of these projects is they help us to identify which prostate cancers are harmful and need treatment and which can be monitored to avoid unnecessary surgery or radiotherapy.

“Run for the Future has been a great supporter of the Prostate Cancer Appeal at the BUI, not only in raising vital funding for our work but also in raising awareness of the disease.

“Recent research has shown that exercise can be beneficial after treatment in preventing cancer from returning, so what better way to show this than by joining Run for the Future this year and helping us to continue our work.”

Small family teams of three can register for Run for the Future for just £35, and families of up to five for just £45. Individuals can register for £15.

Find out more or register for Run for the Future here.

Facts about prostate cancer:

Every year over 30,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK and over 10,000 men die from the disease.

Symptoms can include problems passing urine, lower back pain, pain in the hips and pelvis and occasionally blood in the urine, although this is rare. It is important to remember that not everyone with prostate cancer gets symptoms.

The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test can give an early indication of prostate cancer. Only eight per cent of men request this test from their GP.

Anyone with concerns about their prostate, particularly men above 50 or those above 45 with a family history of cancer, should see their GP to discuss a free PSA blood test.

Black, and especially African Caribbean, men are three times more likely to get prostate cancer than white men.