NEWS: A Concert For Killing Cancer – Debbie Harry, The Who, Richard Ashcroft & Jeff Beck

An incredible line up of rock legends will come together to perform at the first KILLING Cancer concert – part of a campaign to change the way cancer can be treated.

They will take centre stage at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo on Thursday 13th January, raising money for the KILLING Cancer charity that funds research into a little-known therapy that destroys cancer cells with a single treatment – without patients suffering the emotional and physical trauma of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Rock pioneers The Who will perform on the same bill as guitar icon Jeff Beck, The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft, and Blondie legend Debbie Harry.

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) works by light combining with a drug that switches off the oxygen reaching the target cells and is a fraction of the cost of current cancer treatments.

Despite this, PDT is rarely offered to patients and the gig will highlight the availability of this cutting edge therapy.

The idea for the concert came from legendary promoter Harvey Goldsmith and Bill Curbishley, manager of The Who and Robert Plant.

“Robert and I had lived through the final months and days of close friends battling with cancer,” says Bill Curbishley, “but also fighting to overcome the effects of their treatments. Only later we discovered that PDT could perhaps have saved their lives – and certainly given them some dignity in their final weeks.”

Concert impresario, Harvey Goldsmith, says that of all his charity projects, this one for KILLING Cancer has a special significance. “I lost my mother to cancer in the past 12 months. I saw how she struggled but finally lost the fight to beat her cancer. People often say that the treatment is worse than the cancer.

“I have seen how PDT is a much more gentle treatment and the funds Bill, myself and some great friends in the business have already pledged, is giving pancreatic cancer patients real hope. With this cancer there is currently only a 3% chance of survival. In the PDT trial this concert is funding, we have hope and expectation that we can dramatically improve the survival odds for patients.”

Harvey has a particular interest in backing the PDT trial for pancreatic cancer. His close friend Luciano Pavarotti died from the cancer in September 2007.

Proceeds from the concert will also be supporting new trials with PDT for throat cancer and for disfiguring vascular tumours – including birthmarks.

The organisers of the concert hope that that this will also be a catalyst for an increase in public and corporate donations that will speed the launch of other PDT trials for heart and arterial disease, cervical, vulval and penile cancer.

“I am pleased to be asked to support such a vital cause,” says Jeff Beck “Any new breakthrough in cancer treatment should be taken very seriously and we want as many people to know about that as possible.”

“The concert is not just going to raise funds to pay for new PDT trials, but will also help raise public awareness.”

KILLING Cancer Director, David Longman lost his own father to mouth cancer six years ago, despite PDT having been approved by NICE.

“None of the medical teams treating him even knew about PDT,” he says. “The day he died I vowed to change the cancer treatment options for patients and put PDT on the map.”

“Thanks to Bill, Harvey and the incredible generosity of all the artists and the management at the HMV Apollo, 13th January will mark the turning point for PDT and help us to kick start new patient treatments. For decades cancer patients have been wishing for a new, less invasive, gentler way of destroying cancers. That day suddenly looks a whole lot closer.”

For more details of hospitals and clinics offering PDT now, log on to the charity’s website. http://www.killingcancer.co.uk

Pre-Sale tickets will be available exclusively from HMV, 150 Oxford Street, London on Tuesday 16th November, and from http://www.hmvtickets.com from 9am on Friday 19th November.

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