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The Investigator : Autumn Winter 2012
Four leading South Australian charities are calling upon South Australians to go the distance and participate in a major community event which encourages physical activity and empowers participants to make a difference for heart and cancer research. The Flinders Medical Centre Foundation, Heart Foundation, Leukaemia Foundation Australia and Little Heroes Foundation are launching an innovative fundraising challenge that will see thousands of people fundraising for heart and cancer while preparing for one of three physical challenges – a walk, ride or run. The go the distance physical challenge will start and end at West Beach on October 28th – giving participants almost seven months to meet their fundraising target. Each discipline has varying distance options to ensure that everyone is capable of ‘going the distance’ and that everyone is challenged for their particular level of fitness and goals. Walkers can challenge themselves by walking 7km; runners can choose to run 7km or a 21.1km half marathon; and cyclists can choose from doing 30km, 50km, or 100km which will take them along the foreshore and up through the Adelaide Hills. In order to participate in go the distance, individuals must raise $1,500 which will be shared between the four charity partners. Immediate family units can also enter. You can dedicate your challenge to a loved one touched by cancer, do it for yourself, or nominate your own personal motivation. You can create your own personal fundraising page with links to your social networks via the go the distance website www.gothedistance.org.au Every year cancer and heart disease account for nearly two thirds of all registered deaths in Australia. Obesity and physical inactivity are a leading cause of both diseases. Through the collective power of the participants, together with the four unified charities, this unique event is set to have a considerable impact on heart and cancer. Funds raised from go the distance will directly support the work of the four charities in finding solutions for heart and cancer illnesses by funding vital medical research, community support services and hospital equipment. If you think you can go the distance registrations are open at www.gothedistance.org.au. l Investigator autumn/winter 2012 Will you go the distance for heart and cancer? An FMC Foundation grant is funding new research aimed at improving the outcome of a heart attack by reducing damage done to the heart by inflammation. Following a coronary artery blockage, oxygen and nutrients must be resupplied to the heart to prevent tissue death. However the restoration of blood flow triggers an inflammatory response, believed to be controlled by white blood cells called neutrophils, which results in damage to the heart’s cells and to the heart muscle. “There is an ideal window of opportunity for administering anti-inflammatory drug treatments following the initial presentation of a patient with a heart attack,” Dr Carmine De Pasquale, senior staff Cardiologist from the Flinders Medical Centre, said. Based on the successes research colleagues at Flinders have had in using a peptide called feG to decrease inflammation in acute pancreatitis and acute lung injury, Dr De Pasquale’s team is investigating its potential for preventing and treating the dangerous inflammation associated with heart attacks. Peptides are molecules made up of amino acids and are present in all living cells. Researchers believe feG, a peptide which occurs in the salivary gland of animals, acts by inhibiting the actions of neutrophils. It is showing great promise as a new type of anti- inflammatory which could be used in the emergency setting. “If we can administer feG intravenously at the time of emergency intervention for heart attack, we might be able to halt the progressive and irreversible inflammatory damage which results in severe tissue death,” Dr De Pasquale said. Dr De Pasquale said as well as reducing short and long term damage from a heart attack, and possibly patient death, the research will “also increase our knowledge and understanding of the processes that damage the heart during heart attack.” l Getting to the heart of the matter Bowel Cancer survivor Cos Matteo will be walking 7km with his family on October 28th Dr Carmine De Pasquale
Spring Summer 2011
Spring Summer 2012