07 April 2021

South Australia to receive $435,000 for cancer research from Tour de Cure

South Australia to receive $435,000 for cancer research from Tour de Cure

140 riders and support crew from Tour de Cure have raised $435,000 through fundraising efforts over the last 12 months. This money will go directly to cancer research projects in South Australia.

 The 2021 Tour de Cure (TdC) SA Discovery Tour kicks off from Clare on Friday 9th April. The riders will cycle around 400kms through South Australia’s Clare and Barossa Valley’s over three days. During the tour, riders will stop at Clare Primary School, Vineyard Lutheran School and Manoora Primary School, to spread the TdC philosophy, “Be Fit, Be Healthy, Be Happy.”

Each cyclist has a personal connection to cancer, whether they be survivors, supporting loved ones with cancer or paying tribute to loved ones that have succumbed to the disease. Some of the riders are researchers or staff from Flinders and the University of South Australia (UniSA) – the institutions which will receive funding from TdC.

Geoff Coombes, TDC co-founder who started Tour de Cure in 2007 says “Over $400,000 will fund two projects in South Australia. Those projects include brain and colorectal cancer.”

Flinders researcher Associate Professor Simon Conn and Neurosurgeon Dr Santosh Poonnoose are working together to improve the early detection of brain cancer.

Dr Poonnoose is also one of the cyclists on the TdC SA Discovery Tour.

“Brain tumours most commonly affect 50 and 60 year olds. These are people in their prime, sometimes with young families and significant financial responsibilities. The impact of the brain cancer is uniformly devastating on all fronts.

Sadly, surgery does not cure this disease. It has to come in some other form and it is up to research to bridge this gap in knowledge.”

Typically, brain cancer is diagnosed in the later stages when physical symptoms of the cancer appear. The team of researchers has identified key molecules which are important in the progression of cancer. These molecules are also being used as a bio marker for the early detection of cancer through a simple blood test.

Associate Professor Simon Conn says “If we can do that we can revolutionise the disease and increase the survival from this cancer.”

Professor Conn heard about Tour de Cure’s fundraising efforts a few years ago while he was working in France and he believes the funds raised by the SA Discovery Tour will have a major impact on his research.

“At the heart of what we do, we're trying to better diagnose and treat patients that have brain cancer, and it’s the generosity of Tour de Cure and its supporters that’s going to help fund research to help cure it.”

Since 2007, Tour de Cure has raised $66 million, funded 554 projects with 45 scientific breakthroughs.


The following people are available to be interviewed:

Geoff Coombes, TDC founder

Jurgen Ollwitz – has been treated for 5 different types of cancer at Flinders

Rebekah King – works at Flinders and lost her Dad to cancer, will be riding

Associate Professor Simon Conn – funded researcher

Dr Santosh Poonnoose – Flinders neurosurgeon, will be riding

Footage and photographs of previous tours in South Australia or during the upcoming 2021 Tour are available.

For more information contact
Megan Gabriel, Marketing Manager, Tour de Cure
E: megan@tourdecure.com.au M: 0411 641 353

Donations to Tour de Cure can be made at https://donate.tourdecure.com.au

Follow the SA Discovery Tour on social media
Twitter @tourdecure_aus
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LinkedIn @tourdecureaustralia

Thanks to our sponsors
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