A GLASGOW cancer scientist is hoping to inspire people across Scotland to support Stand Up To Cancer.

Professor Sara Zanivan is backing the joint fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 by taking a stand to new heights with her aerial performance troupe, Spinal Chord.

She hopes this will motivate Scots to join the campaign's event on October 15 by getting sponsored to stand up all day, or for as long as they can to help raise money for life-saving research.

Glasgow Times: [Photo: Steve Welsh] [Photo: Steve Welsh]

Participants can choose how and where they take part, whether it's on one leg, two legs, on their head, with a walking stick or by doing a wheelie every half an hour if they use a wheelchair.

The campaign will culminate with a night of live TV on Channel 4 on Friday.

Glasgow Times: [Photo: Steve Welsh] [Photo: Steve Welsh]

Sara and her team at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute in Glasgow study how tumours create the building blocks for the extracellular matrix - a support structure which helps tumours to grow and spread around the body. 

Sara said: "Cancer cells gang up with their little helpers to build structures which help the tumour stand up to attacks from the immune system.

"The extracellular matrix creates a support network around the tumour, which allows it to get all the essentials it needs to survive and plan where it goes to take a stand next.

"It’s my goal to find out how we can stop cancer from taking a stand, by cutting off this molecular support network. Knocking down these support structures opens up exciting new ways to treat cancer."

Sara's team have made some crucial discoveries about how the building blocks for these support structures are made and recycled thanks to funding from Stand Up To Cancer.

With this information, she is working to develop new treatments.

Sara said: "Stand Up To Cancer has been invaluable to my work. The funding that my lab received has helped us shine a spotlight on the processes that allow this terrible disease to take hold.

"We’re now in a position where we can test drugs that could dismantle the support structures that allow cancer to thrive.

"Thanks to the generosity of the public, new targeted treatments for cancer are on the horizon."

She added: "I’m determined to help more people survive cancer. With charities having been hit so hard by the pandemic, it feels more important than ever for everyone to do what they can.

"Getting sponsored to stand up for a day is such a simple way to support research and show solidarity. So, I hope people in Scotland will get on their feet and stand up to support research which could save lives."

Graeme Sneddon, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Scotland said: "One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime, but all of us can play a part to help beat it.

"That’s why we’re asking everyone to Stand Up To Cancer, by standing up on Friday October 15. It really is as simple as that. 

"The challenge itself might be harder than it sounds, but it’s not difficult to imagine the difference it could make.

"The money raised will go directly to our life-saving research, helping tireless scientists like Sara face their own feat of endurance to constantly develop tests and treatments for those who need them most.

"If we all stand together, we can save lives." 

Anyone who can't take part on October 15 can choose another date or fundraise in their own way.

Free fundraising kits are available for support HERE.