12 November 2019

Funding vital cancer research with the launch of Tour de Cure’s Peter Mac Ride from Melbourne to Tasmania

Tour de Cure (TdC) and Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation (Peter Mac) will jointly launch the fourth annual Peter Mac Ride, on Thursday 14th November, which sees over 100 cyclists riding more than 400km over five days in Victoria and Tasmania, with a team of 20 support crew to raise $700k for Australian cancer research.

The event includes a crossing of Bass Strait on the iconic Spirit of Tasmania and will include six school visits promoting healthy lifestyles to over 2000 children. During the ride, three $10k regional grants will be awarded to Melanoma Tasmania, Cancer Council and Canteen.

Community support from fundraising activities like the Tour de Cure Peter Mac Ride plays a vital role in accelerating Peter Mac’s search for cancer cures. The partnership will enable three new research projects to go ahead that would not be possible without donations from the community.

About Tour de Cure We cover ground to cure cancer. Through our inspirational, challenging and fun cycling tours and events, we fund world-class cancer projects that will have the biggest impact.

Since 2007, we've raised more than $52 million, we've funded 432 cancer projects, we've achieved 29 significant cancer breakthroughs, and we've helped to raise awareness about cancer prevention to more than 125,000 school children across Australia.

About the Peter Mac Ride 2019 The Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation and Tour de Cure (TdC) are hosting the fourth ride together in 2019 – an inspiring four-day cycling event to help fund research and find cures for cancers.

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is Australia’s only public hospital solely dedicated to overcoming cancer, and the home of Australia’s largest cancer research group. People with cancer and their loved ones are at the heart of everything they do. They have a team of over 600 laboratory and clinical researchers are internationally recognised for accelerating the search for cancer cures. Peter Mac’s research impacts people with all types of cancer, right around the globe.

This year we are looking to fund three amazing research projects that focus on immunotherapy and childhood cancer.

Prof. Robert Ramsay is the joint-head of the GI cancer program at Peter Mac. He’s also a cancer survivor and was a cyclist on last year’s ride.

“Community support from fundraising activities like the Tour de Cure Peter Mac Ride plays a vital role in accelerating Peter Mac’s search for cancer cures,” Prof. Ramsay said.

“Our partnership with TdC is enabling us to fund three new research projects that would not be possible without donations from the community,” he continued.

Bernard Dwyer, CEO Spirit of Tasmania, will be joining the four-day ride through Tasmania for a second time.

Spirit of Tasmania has been supporting Tour de Cure since 2014 when it first ventured across Bass Strait on its Sydney to Hobart Signature Tour.

“We are delighted to continue our support of Tour de Cure and Peter Mac cancer research for the sixth consecutive year, and I am thrilled to be taking part in the tour team in 2019.”

This year’s Peter Mac ride will be taking in some of Tasmania’s most beautiful wilderness, beginning in Melbourne where the team will board the Spirit of Tasmania for the annual Bass Straight crossing. The team will wake up in Devonport with riders and crew setting off on an action packed 4-days riding 461 kms through spectacular national parks, along surreal coastline, exploring the Freycinet National Park before finishing in historic Hobart.

Twitter: @tourdecure_aus
Facebook: @TourdeCureAustralia
Instagram: @tourdecureaus
LinkedIn @tourdecureaustralia


For interviews, images and video footage, please contact:
Sally Heginbotham, Digital Marketing and Media Manager,
Tour de Cure
0410 634 462, sally@tourdecure.com.au

Interview Opportunities
2019 Route & Schedule
Melbourne, Devonport, Launceston, St Helens, Swansea, Hobart
14 - 18 November

Thursday 14 November: Port Melbourne

12.30 - Team arrive in Port Melbourne

2.30pm – 3.30pm: Ride 30kms
3.30pm – 4.45pm: Board Spirit of Tasmania

Friday 15 November Devonport to Launceston 112km 1211m
7am: Depart Spirit of Tasmania
7.15am – 8am: Breakfast at Mersey Yacht Club, 6 Anchor Pl, Devonport
9.45am – 0.15am: Morning tea: Soldiers Memorial Hall, 1978 Frankford Rd, Frankford
11.15am – 1245pm: Lunch: Rose Bay Park, 243 Gravally Beach Rd, Gravally Beach
2pm – 2.30pm: School visit: Christian PS, 452A W Tamar Rd, Riverside
2pm – 2.30pm: School visit: School of Trevallyn PS, Gorge Rd, Revallyn
2.15pm – 2.45pm: School visit: Invermay PS, 35-43 Mayne St, Invermay
2.45pm – 3.30pm: Afternoon tea, Civic Square, Cameron St, Launceston
6pm – 8pm: Community dinner: Hotel Grand Chancellor, 29 Cameron St, Launceston

Sat 16 November Launceston to St Helens 117km 1677m
6am – 6.45am,: Breakfast at Civic Square, Cameron St, Launceston
8am – 9.30am: Morning tea: The Sideling Lookout, Tasman Hwy
10.45am – 12.15pm: Lunch at Derby Park, Main St, Derby
1.15pm – 2.30pm: Afternoon tea at grass next to Willows Roadhouse, 27921 Tasman Hwy, Pyengana
3.15pm – 4pm: Recovery at Percy Steel Reserve, 8 Georges Bay Esplanade, St Helens
6.30pm – 8.30pm: Community dinner: Tidal Waters Resort, 1 Quail St, St Helens

Sunday 17 November St Helens to Swansea 120km 1033m
6.30am – 7.15am: Breakfast at Percy Steel Reserve, 8 Georges Bay Esplanade, St Helens
10.30am 0 11.30am: Mornign tea at carpark, Burgess St, Bicheno
12.45pm – 2pm: Lunch at rear of Swansea Motor Inn, Jetty Rd, Swansea
7pm – 8.45pm: Community Dinner, Barkmill Tavern, 1/96 Tasman Hwy, Swansea

Monday 18 November Swansea to Hobart 142km 1604m
6am – 6.45am: Breakfast at Swansea Motor Inn, Jetty Rd, Swansea
8.45am – 9.30am: Morning tea at Raspins Beach, 90 Tasman Hwy, Orford
11.30am – 12.45pm: Lunch at Richmond Village Green, 54 Bridge St, Richmond
11.45am – 12.15pm: School visit, Richmond PS, 18 Torrens St, Richmond
1.30pm – 2.15pm: School visit, Goodwood PS, 454 Brooker Hwy, Derwent Park
1.30pm – 2.15pm: School visit, Moonah PS, 40 Derwent Park Rd, Derwent Park
2.30pm – 3pm: Team arrive in Hobart
3pm – 5pm: Celebration Event, Brooke St Larder, Brooke St Pier, Franklin Wharf, Hobart

Facts and Stats

Team on Tour – 131 people Riders - 117 Support Crew – 20

Route Details Ride: 461kms, 5,070m elevation

Peter Mac Ride Fundraising Target
2019 Target - $700,000

2019 School Visits The team will continue to share Tour de Cure's ‘Be Fit, Be Healthy, Be Happy’ cancer prevention message with a number of schools throughout Tasmania.

Cancer Projects & Grants Tour de Cure will donate $10,000 to support local cancer groups in Launceston, St Helens and Swansea.

Cancer funding in Australia and the Tour de Cure story

TdC raise money through personal and corporate donations for bike rides, walks, health challenges and gala events to fund much needed cancer research, prevention and support programs.

Over the last 12 years, TdC has raised over $52Million, funded 432 cancer projects, contributed to over 29 cancer advances or breakthroughs, and talked to over 125,000 school children about making healthy lifestyle decisions. While this sounds impressive, we are only able to fund a quarter of all cancer project grant applications made to us each year. We are determined to fund more, because we know that our funding allows the continuation of vital cancer research in Australia

Tour de Cure aims to keep Australians busily engaged in cancer research and hopes to reach its goal of $60Million by 2020.

We couldn’t do it without the continued support from our corporate partners and donations by everyday Australians. We’ll only end cancer by working together to fund much needed research. And that’s something we can all come together to support.

Call to Action You can show your support and help cure cancer by donating to Tour de Cure at www.tourdecure.com.au

Follow the Peter Mac Ride on social media
Twitter @tourdecure
Facebook @TourdeCureAustralia
Instragram @tourdecureaus
LinkedIn @tourdecureaustralia
Media Contacts: Sally Heginbotham, Digital Marketing Manager, Tour de Cure
E: sally@tourdecure.com.au M: 0410 634 462

BACKGROUND: Projects funded through this year’s Peter Mac Ride

Functional Analysis of Tumour-Relevant Immune Cells
Through research, we know that the action of a patient’s immune cells is fundamental in determining how a patient responds to cancer therapy. The Ramsay Laboratory, led by Associate Professor Rob Ramsay, is undertaking cutting-edge research in the field of tumour immunology in order to optimise the effect of tumour-killing immune cells called CAR-T cells. Having already shown the ability for CAR-T cells to directly kill tumour cells, the Ramsay Lab is continuing their hands-on research in order to enhance the tumour-killing capacity of our patient’s immune systems. Peter Mac is already manufacturing personalised immune CAR-T cells and having success in improving the outcomes for patients with blood cancers. With the support of Tour de Cure, Rob and his team will work to enhance this immune therapy for solid tumours, ensuring that the CAR-T cells are at their peak tumour-killing performance before being transplanted back into the patient, for optimal cancer-kicking action.

Researching Personalised Immune Therapies in Paediatric Cancers
Peter Mac is a world-leader in immunotherapy treatments for adults. This project, conducted by Professor Joe Trapani, Associate Prof Paul Neeson, Associate Professor Paul Ekert and Dr Deborah Meyran, will enable these incredible immune therapies to be applicable to children.

In collaboration with the nation-wide Zero Childhood Cancer program, which encompasses children with cancers which are unresponsive to treatment, the Peter Mac team will comprehensively analyse the children’s tumour and immune cell landscapes. This will enable them to gain a detailed understanding of the specific immune relationship between each child and their tumour by identifying the cellular determinants of response and resistance to therapies. Using this knowledge, the team will be able to manufacture immune therapies, tailored to each child.

These personalised immune therapies will not only give children a greater chance of survival but also offer a treatment which is far kinder, with fewer long term side-effects.

Funding scientist within the Centre of Excellence in Cellular Immunotherapy Translational Research Centre
Peter Mac is pioneering the revolutionary cancer treatment of immunotherapy. This therapy harnesses the power of a patient’s own immune system to target and kill cancer cells and has had incredible success in inducing remission in patients with blood cancers where other therapies have been futile.

Immunotherapy works by collecting a patient’s immune cells, from which our scientists isolate and activate the immune T cells by engineering them to show the CAR gene. These enhanced immune CAR-T cells are then expanded in the lab before being transferred back into the patient. Once in the patient, these cells are able to seek out and destroy the cancerous cells.

With your help, we will be able to secure a scientist whose role will be dedicated to facilitating the translation of the CAR-T cell engineering from the lab bench to the patient’s bedside, through coordinating the recruitment and subsequent treatment of patients into our clinical trials. This Centre of Excellence will be fundamental in spearheading the immunotherapy program to benefit a wider range of patients quickly and effectively.

Peter Mac Ride 2019 regional project grants ($10,000 each)
Melanoma Tasmania and Canteen Tasmania will be the recipients of the local $10,000 grants on tour. These grants will help fund a UV education program called 'Making the Invisible Visible' into Tasmanian High Schools and supporting teens who are either cancer survivors or undergoing cancer treatment via the Canteen Leadership program. These teens have often missed an important part of their teenage years, and will also go on to support other young people going through cancer.

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