Dr Allie Gartland, Reader in Bone and Cancer Biology at the University of Sheffield, explains her involvement in Bone Cancer Awareness Week.

What's your connection to the Bone Cancer Research Trust?

I became involved with the charity in 2015 after securing a BCRT PhD fellowship to my lab to study the role of purinergic signalling in osteosarcoma. I’m passionate about finding ways to cure and treat patients with this devastating disease, and funding from Bone Cancer Research Trust is vital for that.

It is also really important to me and my lab that we engage with both patients and the charity to let them know what we are doing and how their money is being spent! I also think it is important that we as researchers also help raise awareness and funds to help BCRT achieve their mission to save lives and improve outcomes for people affected by primary bone cancer. When not in the lab, I love walking my dog, camping and gadgets!

Why and how did the research team at Sheffield Bake It for Bone Cancer?

A lot of the research done in my lab is funded from charities like Bone Cancer Research Trust - and so I feel very passionately that myself and the staff and students employed by charity grants do our bit to also help raise funds – as it is not an easy task! So we rolled up our sleeves and took to baking cakes and cookies – some in the shapes of bones and skeletons – and put the call out in the Medical School to come buy cakes! If you bake them, they will come!

Why is raising awareness of primary bone cancer so important?

Primary bone cancer is a relatively rare type of cancer that not many people know about. So it is important that we raise awareness about it as much as possible – and this includes starting with Medical Students! If we can inform as many future doctors as well as parents and grandparents about early diagnosis of primary bone cancer – then hopefully the outlook for those affected will be much better as early diagnosis and an early route to treatment is vital.