prof. dr. Bernards - Slats

Cheque € 44.231,- for cancer research 

Prof. dr. Bernards Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital Amsterdam

On Tuesday morning May 29 2018, Mark Slats, row4cancer, handed over a cheque of € 44.231 to prof. dr. Bernards of the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital in Amsterdam.

The amount Slats 'rowed crossing the Atlantic' last December-January, in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, is spent on research that’s being conducted under the supervision of the professor. Slats mother is seriously ill, she’s been his biggest motivation during the race to 'never give up'.

 The costs of cancer medicines can increase enormously. Most medicines that pharmaceutical companies market today cost more than € 100,000 per patient per year. Scientists at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek want to contribute to keeping medicines affordable. Oncology researcher René Bernards: 'The cost of only the medicines for the treatment of cancer comes close to the average price of a Dutch house! If they do not go down, the cancer care becomes unaffordable. We think this can be done differently. '

 Approximately one third new experimental medicines end in the development phase because the medicine appears to be ineffective for patients. 'Undeserved', says René Bernards, 'research that we’ve recently done shows that medicines that are not effective in combination with another drug can actually be effective. As a result, the number of resources that reach the finish line can increase sharply and the price of it decreases. '

 Another way to reduce costs is to develop drugs that have been patented so that they can be used for other applications. René Bernards: 'Those resources are much cheaper, but not necessarily less effective. The costs are often no more than € 2,000 per patient per year. That is fifty times cheaper! "Bernard's research group is working hard on research into new applications. For this to succeed, cancer experts should work together more. 'We can do it differently and cheaper and that’s why we’ve to work together', says René Bernards. We have already proven this on a small scale, but now we must do that on a larger scale, worldwide! '

 Slats, the Gentle Giant, rowed under the name row4cancer, in 30 days, 7 hours and 49 minutes from La Gomera (Canary Islands) to Antigua in the Caribbean. With an average speed of 3.503 knots, Slats was the first solo runner to finish and with this he broke the world record for the Guinness Book of Records by no less than 5 days. The two solo riders finished 14 days after Slats.

Slats will appear at the start of the Golden Globe Race at Les Sables d'Olonne France on 1 July a.s. Slats sails solo, non-stop, without outside assistance around the world. The race is a tribute to Sir Robin Knox Johnston who finished as the only participant in the 1968 race. For which charity Slats wants to raise money during this race will be announced later this month.