The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation has pledged to give more than £250,000 to support research into a rare form of cancer called desmoplastic small round cell tumour (DSRCT) – a type of sarcoma that affects soft tissues in the body.

The donation will fund researchers in Professor Janet Shipley’s team at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, who are dedicated to understanding DSRCT and other types of soft tissue sarcoma that affect young people.

Professor Janet Shipley is one of the world’s leading authorities on research into soft tissue sarcomas, and the only UK scientist with a dedicated effort into DSCRT research.

Announcing the new award, Richard Bowdidge, Trustee and Founder of The Tom Bowdidge Foundation and Tom’s father, said: “When Nikki and I set up The Tom Bowdidge Foundation we knew that one of the aims had to be to fund research into teenage cancers. There is so little research underway that it had to be a central ambition for us to find a project we could support, and one that could make a real difference to the way in which teenage cancers are treated in the future.

“To be able to work with the ICR is a really exciting opportunity for us and to know that the research The Tom Bowdidge Foundation will be funding will include targeting the specific cancer Tom was diagnosed with is especially important. To be able to do this is what Tom wanted.”

Professor Janet Shipley, Professor of Cancer Molecular Pathology at the ICR, said: “We’re extremely grateful for The Tom Bowdidge Foundation’s support, which will really help us to drive forward our research that may ultimately help young people with DSRCT and other sarcomas. Without funding from such charitable trusts, it would be very difficult for us to develop our research into these rare cancers.”