The wheels are in motion for the second Jiffy’s Cancer 50 Challenge bike ride. Following on from the success of the event in 2021, which raised £116,000, rugby legend Jonathan Davies OBE is donning the lycra to lead another bike ride to raise vital funds for the South West Wales Cancer Centre and Velindre Cancer Centre.
The event will take place on Sunday 4th September, and entries are now open. Entry costs £50, plus riders will be expected to raise a minimum £50 sponsorship. This entry fee covers mechanical support, detailed maps, and refreshment stops along the 50 mile course.
Dr Sarah Gwynne, consultant clinical oncologist at the South West Wales Cancer Centre, explained how the funds raised have benefitted the cancer centre in Swansea.
“I help lead the research on radiotherapy treatment in Swansea. We are really grateful for the money that has been raised through the Jiffy bike ride. We’ve been able to use this money to continue to fund trainee oncologists who will spend a period of time with us undertaking research.
Some of the things we have done with the research is look at the role of protons, which is a new way of delivering radiotherapy, which may help to spare the normal tissues around the tumour, whilst effectively hitting the cancer, which could help reduce side effects.
We are also currently looking at how radiotherapy can be used to treat stomach cancers – it is an area where radiotherapy isn’t used as much as other areas in the body and so we are looking at how we might be able to safely use radiotherapy that will become part of a clinical trial in the future.
Research in radiotherapy done elsewhere also benefits patients in Swansea. During COVID, we were able to implement findings of a UK study of patients who had breast cancer radiotherapy, which showed we could safely reduce the number of radiotherapy treatments down from fifteen treatments over a three week period down to just a week, so five days of treatment. This is clearly beneficial to the patient as it reduces the number of times they have to come to hospital, but also for the service – if we can treat patients in a week rather than three weeks, so we can treat patients quicker and this helps with our waiting times. But importantly, this research showed that there was no difference in outcomes for patients, so it was as safe to treat over a week. This has transformed how we treat breast cancer.
So the money that was raised last year, and the money that will be raised this year, is really important as it allows us to continue the research that we have been doing in Swansea that will benefit not only the patients of South West Wales but will help the population of the UK and further afield.”
If you would like to sign up to take part in this year’s challenge, you can sign up at: https://cancer50challenge.co.uk/. Once registered participants need to set up their fundraising page on the official Cancer 50 Challenge campaign page at: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/jiffyschallenge