Scots cancer researcher in £100k funds bid to fight own illness

A young cancer researcher is trying to raise over £100,000 to fund his own battle against a rare form of the disease.

Young scientist Scott Stinson, with girlfriend Becky, who specialises in cancer research and has launched a funding appeal after he was diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer. Picture: Family handout/PA Wire

Scott Stinson, 25, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma during the second year of his PhD studies in chemistry and nanotechnology in April of last year at St Andrews University.

He had his right arm and shoulder amputated in Birmingham Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in August after chemotherapy failed to halt the bone cancer. Now he is campaigning to raise £120,000 for treatment that is not available on the NHS but is licensed in other countries.

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Mr Stinson said the cancer had spread to his lungs and his oncologist has told him the only treatment available would be to extend his life, rather than save it.

“I have exhausted all possible curative treatments available to me on the NHS. Time is not on my side and I will be hoping to raise enough funds to begin the first round of treatment by the end of April,” he said.

“As well as raising funds for my further treatment, I hope to raise awareness for this rare disease.”

“Osteosarcoma, or osteogenic sarcoma, is a rare type of bone cancer. Osteosarcoma is considered an orphan disease whose rarity means there is a lack of a market large enough to gain support and resources for discovering treatments for it. Osteosarcoma usually develops in growing bones. It is most common in teenagers and young adults, especially in young males. Any bone in the body can be affected, but the most common sites are the arms or legs, particularly around the knee joint.”

Mr Stinson’s mother Jill, who set up the GoFundMe page, said his strength and determination had been immeasurable.

She said the family were also grateful to Mr Stinson’s girlfriend Becky, who has paused her Masters in costume design in Edinburgh, to help care for him.

“We are currently researching treatment options abroad whilst still pursing the possibility of receiving immunotherapy in the UK” she said.

“Either way, funding will be an issue for Scott and our family which is why we have set up this page.”

The appeal has already reached £40,000 within a few days of launching.

Mr Stinson graduated with a first-class honour Masters and was selected for a place at the UK Research Council-funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Critical Resource Catalysis at St Andrews University