‘Father of Tamoxifen’ visits Harrogate for charity conference

The pioneering ‘father’ of cancer drug Tamoxifen travelled to Harrogate this week to attend Yorkshire Cancer Research’s annual science meeting.

Professor V Craig Jordan was the first to discover the anti-breast cancer properties of the failed contraceptive drug when he was a young medical scientist at the University of Leeds in the early 1970s.



Tamoxifen has since become a ‘gold standard’ treatment for breast cancer, and has been credited with saving thousands of lives throughout the world.

It was thanks to a three year award from the charity – which was then known as the Yorkshire Cancer Research Campaign – that Professor Jordan was able to carry out his initial research.

Professor Jordan said: My mantra is Models to discover Mechanisms to develop Medicines. But you need a fourth ‘M’ – Money – to have the freedom to follow your nose and excel through discovery. The Yorkshire Cancer Research campaign gave me the freedom to discover what Tamoxifen can do and help millions of families throughout the world. I’d like to thank the charity for their investment and faith in my vision of a future cancer free.

Professor Jordan, now Scientific Director at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, Washington DC, gave a talk entitled “Why It Is The Right Thing To Do: Invest In Young Cancer Research Scientists” at the meeting, which took place at the Pavilions of Harrogate.
Nearly 200 of the region’s leading scientists and clinicians attended the event, which also included poster and scientific sessions.

Professor Anthony Robards, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: Professor Jordan is an extremely inspiring speaker and we were delighted and very honoured to welcome him to our annual science meeting.

Tamoxifen is one of a number of exciting breakthroughs that had their initial funding from Yorkshire Cancer Research, and it’s amazing to see how work we funded so many years ago is having a direct impact on the lives of cancer patients across the world.



Main photograph: (from left) Yorkshire Cancer Research funded scientist Professor Laurence Patterson, from the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics at the University of Bradford, Professor V Craig Jordan, Scientific Director at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, Washington DC, and Professor Anthony Robards, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Yorkshire Cancer Research, at the Pavilions of Harrogate.


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