Help Keep Families Like Helen’s

Together For Christmas.

“What do you want for Christmas?…

I want you all around my table.”

At just 20 years old Helen Topalov survived Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Like many people, Helen had no idea that the radiotherapy treatment she received to save her life from the Hodgkin Lymphoma, would in fact come back to threaten her life in the future – in the form of stage 3 breast cancer and then heart disease, all a likely flow on effect from the initial radiation treatment.

While great advances have been made in reducing the impact of radiation from treatment, more needs to be done. The radiation and chemotherapy treatment particularly for breast cancer can often cause damage to the heart muscle and subsequent heart failure.

Helen is one of the 30% of people who experience long-term side effects, mostly cardiovascular from their treatments.

Fortunately, there has been some exciting developments in this area. In an exciting world-first study, Professor Helge Rasmussen and his team have discovered that a protein FXYD 3 can be overexpressed in some breast cancer cells. This protein essentially enables the cancer cells to be resistant to treatments, particularly radiotherapy. In test tube studies, the team have shown that by replacing this protein with an inactive peptide, it reduces the dose of chemotherapy required by up to 10-fold. This reduces the effect on the heart and the risk of treatment-related heart failure.

Unbelievably, this research was on hold due to lack of funding, before people like you provided initial funding to get this project off the ground.

We now urgently need money to continue to the second stage research.

The really exciting part of this research is that this protective protein has also been found in other cancer cells, such as prostate and pancreatic cancers.

Imagine a future where less radiotherapy and chemotherapy were needed to effectively treat cancers, and what this could mean for the immediate and long-term side effects for patients?

“I wish more people had funded this type of research when I was first diagnosed so my family and I may have been spared unnecessary, ongoing trauma” says Helen.

If Helen’s family ever asks her: “What do you want for Christmas”?

the answer is always the same: “I want you all around my table”.

Keep more families together this Christmas