Largest single fundraising event in Australian history draws 1609 Riders and funds life-saving cancer research at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne




27th October (Melbourne): The Ride to Conquer Cancer announced 1,609 riders raised over $6.2 million for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre as the first annual Ride commenced Saturday in Melbourne. Ride participants will cycle over 200 km through Victoria with an overnight camp in Healesville before returning to Melbourne for an emotional finish on Sunday.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the success of our first annual Ride to Conquer Cancer and we are grateful to each of our riders, their donors, all sponsors and everyone who supported this event to make it an incredible success for the cancer research program here at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre,” said Professor John Zalcberg OAM, Chief Medical Officer at Peter Mac.

“As Australia’s only public hospital solely dedicated to cancer, our world-class cancer researchers and clinician-researchers are working relentlessly to ensure discoveries lead to increased cancer knowledge and are translated into new and improved cancer treatments. One in two Australian men and one in three Australian women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and, this year, over 43,000 deaths will be attributed to cancer in Australia while over 115,000 new cases will be diagnosed. Funds from The Ride will support advances in cancer research that we hope will save lives and improve patient outcomes for people with cancer here in Australia and around the globe, ” Professor Zalcberg added.

2012 is the inaugural Ride in Victoria and in one year, it became the largest single fundraising event in Australian history. The Ride draws thousands of participants from across Australia and brings together communities of cancer survivors, cyclists and supporters who train and fundraise for months in order to participate in the annual two-day, 200 km journey through Victoria.

“I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1987 and was treated at Peter Mac using a chemotherapy drug developed from research programs,” said John Payne of Wantirna South, Melbourne.

“I lost my mother to gallbladder cancer in 2007, and this past February I lost my wife Sue after three years battling melanoma. I am a father of four and will do anything I can so no one else has to lose their loved ones to this disease. The Ride is may way of making an impact on this disease while saying thank you to the teams at Peter Mac who helped save my life, and care for my wife and family throughout her journey with cancer,” Mr. Payne added.

Funds raised by The Ride will be put to use immediately, to support a range of cancer research programs at Peter Mac, which include melanoma.

“Australia has the highest rate of melanoma in the world, and we’re working hard to focus on finding better and more targeted treatments for this insidious disease,” said Professor Grant McArthur, medical oncologist and Head of the Skin and Melanoma Service and the Molecular Oncology Laboratory at Peter Mac.

“Our team of researchers and clinicians were the only group outside of North America to initially test a new, highly-selective drug called PLX4032, developed to target and destroy a gene mutation responsible for more than half of all known melanoma cases. This therapy is now available for patients with advanced melanoma throughout the world. The vital funds raised by The Ride will support the platform technologies our researchers rely on to continue their critical work in cancer discovery,” Professor McArthur added.

Registration for the 2013 Ride opened on Saturday. The second annual Ride will be held October 26th & 27th of next year in Victoria.

“We hope to see even more people join us next year for our second annual Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting Peter Mac,” said Professor Zalcberg.

“For more information and to register, go to or phone 1300 00 RIDE (7433),” Professor Zalcberg concluded as thousands of riders cheered and the 2012 Ride commenced.

Ride organizers expect hundreds of people to attend public cheering stations along the route. For a map of The Ride routes, visit





Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is Australia’s only public hospital solely dedicated to cancer and one of an elite group of hospitals worldwide to have its own integrated cancer research program and laboratories. Peter Mac treats more cancer patients each year than any other hospital in the country and its highly skilled medical, nursing and allied health team is backed by the largest cancer research group in Australia. More information can be found at

Gary D. Turner
Communications Director, The Ride To Conquer Cancer
Mobile: 0467 808 576