Free public lecture: Inspiring hope for cancer patients

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The University of Adelaide will next week host a free public lecture aimed at honouring cancer patients and inspiring hope for their future thanks to groundbreaking research.

Belgian-based cancer researcher Johan Swinnen knows all too well the challenges of cancer – his teenage son Pieter was diagnosed with a brain tumour six years ago.

This year, Professor Swinnen embarked on an epic 2400km journey across Europe, running the equivalent of two marathons every day for a month, all while carrying a backpack filled with hundreds of letters of support for cancer patients.

He ran from the University of Leuven in Belgium, where he is based as head of the Cancer Institute, to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

While in Adelaide for a meeting with his collaborators, Professor Swinnen – who works closely with leading prostate cancer researchers at the University of Adelaide – will give a free public lecture about his journey and how it informs his work.

"Johan's efforts to help raise awareness of the plight of cancer patients is truly inspiring," says Professor Wayne Tilley, Executive Director of the University's Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories.

"As a cancer researcher and the father of a cancer patient, he has a keen understanding of the critical need for groundbreaking research and new treatments.

"Anyone whose lives are affected by cancer – as well as those who are inspired by high-performance athletes – would benefit from hearing his story," Professor Tilley says.

WHAT: Free Public Lecture: An extreme running pilgrimage to honour cancer patients
WHERE: G030 ground floor lecture theatre, Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences (AHMS) building, University of Adelaide, North Terrace
WHEN: 4.30–5.30pm, Monday 11 December 2017
COST: Free — all welcome

Further information and RSVP: Contact Suzanne Atkins at the University's Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories. Phone 08 8313 7856 or email:


Contact Details

Professor Wayne Tilley
Director, Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories
Adelaide Medical School
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 7861
Mobile: 0417 807 895

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762