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Amser Justin Time on Heno

29 March 2018

Shan Cothi in ECSCRI lab

A welsh soprano visits the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute as part of a S4C documentary to find out how public donations are funding vital research into pancreatic cancer.

The Institute opens its doors to Heno as part of a programme exploring the work of Amser Justin Time, a welsh pancreatic cancer charity who’s fundraising is helping to better diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Welsh classical singer, Shân Cothi, set up the charity in 2008 after she lost her husband, Justin Smith, to pancreatic cancer. Shân led a three week horse ride from Prestatyn to Ogmore in memory of the glam rock star, to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer and to raise lifesaving donations.

Since the launch of Amser Justin Time, the charity has raised over a quarter of a million pounds to fund pancreatic cancer research.

Amser Justin Time has helped to fund Dr Catherine Hogan’s work at the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute at Cardiff University, which investigates the role of cancer stem cells in pancreatic cancer and aims to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the disease.

Dr Catherine Hogan, Research Fellow, said: “My research group is interested in understanding how mutations within cancer-causing genes can expand to form tumours in pancreatic cancer.

“Our research is looking into how cancerous cells, with mutations in a cancer-causing gene called KRas, evade the body’s protective mechanisms to develop into pancreatic cancer.

“Pancreatic cancer remains a rare disease, and how the cancer progresses is poorly understood.

“Early detection is key to improving survival for people with pancreatic cancer. A better understanding of early pancreatic cancer will improve our ability to detect and diagnose disease before it reaches incurable stages.

“The work of the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute is transforming the way we treat cancer through world-leading research into cancer stem cells.

“The support of Shân Cothi and Amser Justin Time is vital, as we rely on support to continue our work.”

During the hour long special, Heno follows Shân Cothi as she visits the Institute to find out how their donations are helping to fund important research into the disease.

Amser Justin Time have funded two research associate positions, Dr Sean Porazinski and Andreas Zaragkoulias, at the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute to work in Catherine’s research group.

The programme also explores Justin’s unique personality and character and meet some of his closest friends and family who speak openly and lovingly about him.

Shân also returns to the hospice in Holme Towers, where he spent his final days and where they finally got married.

The programme also features highlights of the Grand Concert which was held in the Pafiliwn, Pontrhydfendigaid, to celebrate ten years of Amser Justin Time.

If you would like to watch the documentary, tune into Heno on S4C at 7pm on Friday April 30.