Le Legacy

Le Cure de France, in its first year, raised enough money to create a “Le Cure de France” Research Fellowship at the Royal Marsden.  The Le Cure Research Fellow will carry out a study to identify cancer DNA in patients’ blood.

Revolutionising Breast Cancer Testing

Professor Ian Smith and The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity would like to thank all the supporters and those that participated in Le Cure de France 2014. The generous donations that you, your friends, and your families made to support Le Cure de France came to a grand total of over £133,000.

By supporting Le Cure de France, you have invested in The Royal Marsden’s research which aims to develop innovative, personalised treatment for women with breast cancer in the UK and world-wide. Your incredible contributions are supporting a Clinical Research Fellow in the Breast Unit. As of March 2015, Dr Charlotte Fribbens was appointed to the post and she is currently working on the ABC BIO (Advanced Breast Cancer Biopsy) trial.

The ABC BIO Trial

Breast cancers release DNA into blood, which can provide information on genetic mutations present in cancer patients. This trial aims to demonstrate that simple blood tests can replace invasive tumour biopsies to manage the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. This would mean the progress of the treatment could be evaluated more frequently and changes in therapy could be made before the disease becomes life-threatening.

The trial is recruiting up to 500 women with advanced breast cancer. One single tumour biopsy taken from each patient will be tested for HER2 status and up to 50 possible genetic mutations. The patient’s blood will be tested at the same time to see whether researchers can use the information gained to identify the best treatment for the patient. The results will provide a better understanding of the genetic make-up of breast cancers, while providing gentler, more personalised, and effective treatment for patients.

ABC Bio trial participant, Pat Glover

ABC Bio trial participant, Pat Glover

One of the ABC Bio trial’s participants is Pat Glover. Pat (pictured), who is 65, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1988, when she was 37. She has been under the care of The Royal Marsden ever since. About her involvement with the trial, she said: “As a retired nurse, I know how important medical research is…When I first started nursing in the 1960s, cancer treatment was totally different to what it is now. As research has developed over the years, trials such as this one are made possible by The Royal Marsden, and bring new hope for those diagnosed with cancer.”

The Clinical Research Fellow

The ABC BIO trial has the real potential to significantly and immediately change the lives of women world-wide. Our leading-edge clinical trials and remarkable research would not be possible without our Fellows.

Nick Turner and Charlotte Fribbens for website

Your generous contribution is funding a two-year Fellowship that plays a crucial role supporting the ABC BIO research team. Dr Fribbens (pictured with Dr Nicholas Turner) is contributing to the most fundamental aspects of running a research practice, such as establishing best practice, ethical approval, and trial monitoring. “This is a particularly exciting role for me,” says Dr Fribbens, “as I wanted to be involved with an area of research advancing the personalised approach for breast cancer patients and bringing this research into clinical practice. [The trial] has the potential to benefit patients today and in the future, and we wouldn’t be able to do any of this without Le Cure de France funding.”

Thanks to the Fellowship sponsored through Le Cure de France, Dr Fribbens will be instrumental to the success of our study and her work will impact the future of breast cancer patient care. On behalf of everyone here, thank you to those who participated last year – your fundraising efforts for the 2014 event were extraordinary! We are very much looking forward to supporting Les Curistas for 2015 and beyond. With your continued support, we can keep making life better for people with cancer and their families, while striving towards a future without it.

I can’t thank everyone enough for this extraordinary fundraising achievement. The amount raised is far beyond our expectations and it has enabled us to plan a full scale research project, as described above, which I am hopeful will be of major benefit in the future to patients with breast cancer

Professor Ian Smith

Head of the Breast Unit at The Royal Marsden


The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, Registered Charity No. 1095197