Charities are required by law to set aims and objectives and to work within those.
A little known part of Team Verrico’s work is that of providing seed funding to cancer research projects to enable ideas to go from the blackboard to the test tube; early stage funding helps ascertain the viability of a project for further funding from the larger charities.
This part of the charity’s work is less headline grabbing that the real benefits we bring to families facing cancer, but it is a vital part of its DNA. In fact, Team Verrico’s objects clause includes this statement:
“Team Verrico supports research into new treatments and ways of diagnosing responses to treatment of cancer, especially Triple Negative breast cancer, as well as supporting research into the challenges faced by long term survivors of the disease as a result of the physical and psychological consequences of the diagnosis and treatments.”
Team Verrico treasurer, Jackie Mchale from Wroot along with husband Andy were therefore delighted to meet Professor Matt Smalley of the University of Cardiff to formally present his team a grant of £9,338 to look at the role of a gene called LYN, and how this could be utilised in treatment for Triple Negative Breast Cancer. LYN is similar to a switch within a cell; it is switched on in healthy breast cells and tells the cells to grow and not to die. But if these cells are damaged, LYN is switched off, and this leads to the death of the damaged cells. In Triple Negative Breast Cancer, LYN is always switched on and cannot be switched off, leading to abnormal cell growth and the development of this aggressive form of breast cancer. Professor Smalley believes that by blocking LYN activity, we could kill the Triple Negative Breast Cancer cells.
He said: “In the laboratory, we can switch off LYN genetically, and this will kill the cancer cells. However, this isn’t suitable in patients. Our project, funded by Team Verrico, will test just over 100 chemicals which have been predicted to successfully switch off LYN in breast cancer cells.”
Team Verrico’s head of research and development, Paul Verrico, said: “The work of the smaller research programmes in the successful fight against cancer. The trustees were really impressed with Professor Smalley’s application and very much look forward to seeing the outcome later in the year.”
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