The Ralph Bates Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund

Newsletter December 2019

Well it doesn’t seem like a year ago since we mailed our last December Newsletter. With everything that’s been going on in the UK and the World, we’re not really surprised the way time flies!
Since this time last year, some 9,000 people will have been struck down by this debilitating illness, which does not discriminate between sexes or by age. Frightening. 10-year survival rates are still less than 1% and haven’t changed in the past 40 years. It’s smaller Charities like ours are trying to do something about it.

Our supporters have been hard at work again.

The Roche School, an independent, co- educational primary school in Wandsworth, South London, adopted our Fund as one of their chosen charities for the year. They worked tirelessly in arranging and participating in many activities and we are extremely grateful for their invaluable support. Here’s Virginia Bates in the centre, flanked by Nigel Baly, another of our Trustees and Charlotte Baly, his daughter-in-law, a Teacher at the School and Head of 11+ pupils. To all at the School, many thanks for your support during the year.

And PETE SALVIN ran in the 2019 Virgin London Marathon for us, as we mentioned in the last Newsletter. He completed the Marathon in just under four hours- a great achievement. We were hoping to have a photo of Pete in this edition, but unfortunately, none are available. He was so pleased to have finished, he completely forgot!

But it would be wrong not to thank, once again, all of you for your generous and continuing support, without which we wouldn’t be here. Small charities like ours are, generally, experiencing difficulty in raising funds but hopefully, now that the political scene has stabilised a little, things might get better. Fingers crossed!

At St. George’s University of London, research work has continued albeit at a slower pace than before, whilst we recruit an experienced researcher. Meanwhile, we have five students who have been carrying out research into the use of proteins to fight pancreatic cancer and one of them recently presented some of her data at a Research Day, an event which is open to all University staff and students and which gives them an opportunity to present the result of their research work to their peers and to meet potential sponsors.

This is Pooja Sunildath with her presentation.

Pooja is a Bsc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences.

And at Imperial College, London we’ve been able to support research into identifying indicators in blood and other bodily fluids which could signal the existence or likelihood of pancreatic cancer. This research will take about a year until October 2020 and we will give an update in the next Newsletter.

It’s often asked why there are several research teams looking into pancreatic cancer instead of one combined effort, but it’s important that different aspects are researched simultaneously as there’s probably no single answer to what causes pancreatic cancer and probably, no single cure. It’s not seen as a race, but a joint effort. Research teams in different locations exchange data and ideas, as something which in one team may not appear relevant, might be relevant elsewhere.

The table below shows UK survival rates for various cancers between 2011 and 2016. The poor old pancreas is still at the bottom. Survival rates have not improved in 40 years. In the 1970s, 1% of people diagnosed with the cancer survived beyond ten years. It’s still 1% despite the efforts of Funds like ours. But we’ll persevere because a breakthrough could be close……………….You never know.

(With acknowledgements to Cancer Research UK for the table and the facts).

So; don’t forget the symptoms!

Early diagnosis could make all the difference. It’s difficult to generalise, but if you or anyone you know has any of these- see a doctor quickly;

  • Yellow skin or eyes and/or itchy skin. This is “jaundice”.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Tummy pain, especially at the top of the abdomen, which may radiate to the back, or unexplained mid-back pain.
  • Bowel changes such as oily, floating faeces (stools).

And remember – pancreatic cancer doesn’t discriminate between sexes and doesn’t care how old you are.

Once again, many thanks for your support.
Don’t forget- none of our Trustees are remunerated or claim expenses, so your donation ends up where it should- trying to find a cure for a most debilitating and aggressive illness.

Seasonal greetings to you all, take care and have a Healthy and Happy 2020.

The Trustees.

December 2019.

Making a donation. Donations can be made;

Directly to the Administration address shown below.

By direct transfer to our bank account at:
Sort code; 40-26-07. Account number; 81635190.

Please quote your name as the reference.

By donating online by credit or debit card with either;

MyDonate at or

Justgiving at or

Virgin Money Giving at

They all reclaim Gift Aid for us where applicable.

Leaving a Legacy in your Will. If you want to know more about leaving a legacy, please visit our web site at

Gift Aid. If you are a UK tax payer we can claim 25p from HMRC for every £1 you donate. You can download a Gift Aid declaration from our web site but no need to do this if you donate through one of the web sites named above. They take care of Gift Aid. You must be a UK tax payer and if you pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all your donations in a tax year (April 6 to April 5) it is your responsibility to pay any difference.

Patron: Sir Peter Blake CBE, RDI, RA
Trustees: Virginia Bates, Dr John Glees MD, FRCR, DMRT,
Sharon Sullivan, Michael Bridge FCA,
Nigel Baly BSC, MRICS, Les Biggs ACIS (Secretary).
Registered Charity No. 1007819.

Admin address; 317 Old Bedford Road, Luton, LU2 7BL.
Telephone; 01582 576100 or 07785 281901.

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