Norfolk charity fundraising for research into pioneering cancer treatment

Professor David Russell (UEA school of chemistry), Paula Garcia Calavia (PhD research student), Ian

Professor David Russell (UEA school of chemistry), Paula Garcia Calavia (PhD research student), Ian Gibson (PDT Norfolk), Daphne Sutton (PDT Norfolk, Roger Green (PDT Norfolk) - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk charity has launched a £75,000 fundraising drive to pay for research into a pioneering cancer treatment.

PDT Norfolk hopes to fund a three-year research programme to further prove the efficacy of photodynamic therapy as a method of detecting and treating early stage lung cancer.

It is working with the UEA school of chemistry, and aims to help patients in Norfolk access better treatment.

PDT is a target method, with a photo-sensitive drug and laser light used to kill cancer cells. It is currently used to treat skin cancer patients in Norfolk, but the charity aims to raise awareness of its potential to treat for other cancers.

Professor David Russell, of the UEA, has been working on photodynamic therapy since 1990. He said: 'Currently, the mainstays of lung cancer treatment are surgery – cutting away tumour tissue – plus radiotherapy or chemotherapy. It is often the treatment that can make people feel so very poorly. Photodynamic therapy is a much softer treatment based on targeting specific cells with a red light; healthy tissue is left completely alone.'

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Daphne Sutton, chairman of PDT Norfolk, said: 'While it is still early days, we hope that people will support us in our efforts to make photodynamic therapy available locally for people with lung cancer.'

PDT Norfolk is aiming to secure at least £25,000 by April so that a research student can be in post by October this year.

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To donate, volunteer or help with fundraising call 01263 824868, email or visit

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