Team effort to beat rare cancer wins top award

18 November 2019
A Cambridge-led national charity dedicated to fighting one of the rarest children’s cancers, has won a prestigious award.

Addenbrooke’s consultant Dr Ramesh Bulusu received the Collaboration Award from the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) on behalf of the charity PAWS-GIST, which stands for the paediatric, adolescent, wild-type syndromic gastrointestinal stromal tumour consortium (PAWS-GIST).Dr Ramesh Bulusu

The honour, part of the annual Excellence Awards in Glasgow, recognises those who have collaborated across organisations, brought together interdisciplinary expertise or entered into novel partnerships.

Last year the Addenbrooke’s based PAWS-GIST clinic teamed up with experts in America to find a treatment. The collaboration, the first of its kind by a European clinic, was so significant the news was announced by the former Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, at a dedicated cancer summit in Washington. 

PAWS-GIST generally affects children and young adults and conventional treatments are less effective. The subset represents a tiny percentage of the 15 in one million mainly adult suffers of classic GIST.

GISTs are most common in the stomach or small bowel, but can occur anywhere along the digestive tract. They can spread to the liver and peritoneum/omentum and less commonly to bones and lungs.

Dr Bulusu, who collected the award on on Monday, 4 November, said: “We are thrilled to win this award, which reflects the hard work of everyone in the consortium. Over recent years new drugs have been developed  leading to a dramatically improved outlook for GIST patients. However, there is still much to be done.”

CEO of NCRI Dr Ian Frame said: “We are delighted to recognise and honour the achievements made by these individuals and teams who have worked to help accelerate progress in cancer research for the benefit of patients and society.”

To make a donation to the charity visit its website