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Cancer researcher inspires hope for patients

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Source: University of Adelaide

A free public lecture aimed at honouring cancer patients and inspiring hope for their future thanks to groundbreaking research is to be held next week at the University of Adelaide.

Belgian-based cancer researcher Johan Swinnen knows all too well the challenges of cancer – his teenage son Pieter was diagnosed with a brain tumour six years ago.

This year, Professor Swinnen embarked on an epic 2400km journey across Europe, running the equivalent of two marathons every day for a month, all while carrying a backpack filled with hundreds of letters of support for cancer patients.

He ran from the University of Leuven in Belgium, where he is based as head of the Cancer Institute, to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

While in Adelaide for a meeting with his collaborators, Professor Swinnen – who works closely with leading prostate cancer researchers at the University of Adelaide – will give a free public lecture about his journey and how it informs his work.

Professor Wayne Tilley, Executive Director of the University's Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories, said Professor Swinnen's efforts to "help raise awareness of the plight of cancer patients is truly inspiring".

"As a cancer researcher and the father of a cancer patient, he has a keen understanding of the critical need for groundbreaking research and new treatments," Professor Tilley said. 

"Anyone whose life is affected by cancer – as well as those who are inspired by high-performance athletes – would benefit from hearing his story," Professor Tilley said.

WHAT:
Free Public Lecture: An extreme running pilgrimage to honour cancer patients

WHERE:
G030 ground floor lecture theatre, Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences (AHMS) building, University of Adelaide, North Terrace

WHEN:
4.30–5.30pm, Monday 11 December 2017

HOW:
RSVP required. Contact Suzanne Atkins at the University's Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories.
P: 08 8313 7856
E: suzanne.atkins@adelaide.edu.au

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Media contacts:

Professor Wayne Tilley
Executive Director
Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories
The University of Adelaide
M: +61 (0)417 807 895
E: wayne.tilley@adelaide.edu.au

David Ellis
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
M: +61 (0)421 612 762
E: david.ellis@adelaide.edu.au