Scientific or medical background. Cancer diagnosis: Histopathology, cytology and analysis of tumour markers. Histochemical staining of tissue samples. Gloved hands hold a slide glass with tissue samples for histological staining.

Welcome to our May news update from our Voluntary interim CEO Nicola Ridges-Jones

When I last wrote we were hopeful that the roadmap out of restrictions would go to plan. And I’m so pleased that circumstances allowed us to kickstart our fundraising with our beloved Charity Golf Day.

We were delighted that 18 teams joined us at Goodwood Golf on the 19th May and it was so wonderful to see old and new friends while raising some much-needed funds. We aimed to raise £5,000 and at the last count we had raised just under £7,000. These much-needed funds will help keep our current promising research studies going and speed up us being able to support new scientific research projects.

Due to the COVID rules we were unable to host our traditional post-golf dinner and auction, so we have been running an online silent auction which is open to everyone. We still have a few lots available, please do take a look at some of the wonderful items available. Anyone is able to bid and we have items from golf through to dinner experiences and much more.

Lots include:
- Oracle Vice-President Nigella has kindly donated three signed copies of her no.1 best-selling book "cook, eat, repeat".
- Host a special dinner party in your own home for up to ten guests. Our executive chef will travel to your house or a mutually agreed venue and provide you and your guests with six sumptuous courses.
- A chef’s table dining at Mosimanns restaurant for up to six guests in The Davidoff Room
- A beautiful pair of floral diamond stud earrings set in 18k white gold
- Goodwood Golf experiences, from tuition to fourballs at the beautiful downland course

Take a look at our page and email any bids to the team.

Oracle's Webinar Series
Unfortunately we had to postpone our "Talking Treatments" webinar with Prof Kevin Harrington at the end of May. We will keep you posted when it is rescheduled.

Watch on Catch up: Professor Vinidh Paleri and robotic surgery webinar
In April we discussed the incredible developments in robotic surgery with Professor Vinidh Paleri, Dr John Hardman and former patient Shahid Alibhai (who was joined by his wife Dr Sarah Hussain pictured above). They covered the current benefits of this incredible treatment and hopes for the future. Shahid shared his powerful experiences as a patient six years ago too. If you couldn’t make it or would like to watch it again, visit our YouTube channel.

Give while you shop
As restrictions lift you might be tempted to go shopping to get ready to step into the world, and it would be wonderful if you could support Oracle while you do it, at no extra cost to you. Amazon Smile allows you to nominate Oracle Cancer Trust as your favourite cause. It is very easy to create an account and nominate us so that we’ll receive a donation with every purchase.
We’re also signed up to Easy Fundraising which works in a similar way; once you have an account you can shop with hundreds of your favourite retailers through their site. And like Amazon Smile, with every purchase Oracle Cancer Trust receives a donation, at no extra cost to you at all.

Research spotlight – improving current treatments
Last month we updated you on a number of projects that have been running throughout the restrictions thanks to the resilience and adaptability of our researchers. This month we’re pleased to share an update from Julia Hobart who has been working at the ICR.

Theme 3: Improving current treatments: PhD award, Julia Hoebart, ICR – 2017 – 2021
Some of you may remember Julia Hobart (pictured below centre with colleagues from The ICR) from our last in-person research evening. She has been conducting her PhD research at the ICR under the supervision of Dr Gabriel Kramer-Marek and Professor Kevin Harrington. Julia has been investigating how improve state-of-the-art imaging techniques to look at a patient’s head and neck cancer.

Julia Hobart and Florian Raes

The aim is for clinicians to be able to assess more accurately whether a patient will respond to treatment with a class of immunotherapies known as immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICPI). ICPI are already being used in head and neck cancer patients and whilst results are very positive in some patients, unfortunately they are not successful in all.

During the first lockdown Julia had to spend several months working from home, reviewing her findings to date and despite this interruption has been able to keep her study on track. She aims to complete her work by November and has started to write up her thesis which will keep her busy for the next few months. We’re really looking forward to seeing the culmination of 3.5 years hard work. Julia’s study has been generously funded by The Chellaram Foundation in memory of Mr Mohan Mathani who sadly passed away in 2018.
I hope you’ve found this edition of news from Oracle interesting.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts - please don't hesitate to email me.

Thank you for all you do, together we can make sure more people survive and thrive after head and neck cancer.

Best wishes,


Nicola Ridges Jones
Interim Voluntary CEO

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Oracle Cancer Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (1142037). A company limited by guarantee. Registered company in England and Wales (7125497). Registered address: Liles Morris Accountants, 1st Floor, 80 Coombe Road, New Malden KT3 4QS