AN APPLEBY scientist who lost his father to cancer is calling on Cumbria to help boost the battle against the killer disease.

Cancer scientist Dr James Allan, 42, is working with Cancer Research UK on its Stand Up campaign- which has won the backing of top stars including Gwyneth Paltrow and Alan Carr.

Dr Allan, who specialises in leukaemia research, lost his dad Michael Allan to prostate cancer in 2010.

The death of his father has spurred him on to get Cumbrians to dig deep to help scientists in their work to make crucial new developments and breakthroughs in treatment to enable more people to survive.

“When Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer it was clear to me from the outset that he would eventually lose his battle – it was just a case of how long he could keep going,” said Dr Allan , a The Former Appleby Grammar School pupil.

“Unfortunately, his was a particularly aggressive cancer and his death was very rapid. He enjoyed less than three years of his retirement.

“Dad’s death brought home to me that earlier diagnosis and improved treatments are as important as ever if we are to beat cancer.”

Michael Allan was a well-known figure in the family’s hometown, where he was both a player and manager of Appleby FC.

He was also a partner in building contractors G Middleton Ltd, but he died aged 63 - 11 months after being diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer.

Dr Allan, who now works at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research at Newcastle University, added: “We are calling on men, women and children across Cumbria to Stand Up To Cancer by helping us raise money for vital research.”

Music and film stars will come together for in the fight against cancer on October 19 on Channel 4’s Stand Up To Cancer, which will include a live fundraising extravaganza.

Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for the North West, said: “Thanks to the incredible progress that’s been made in the last 40 years, more people are surviving than ever before. But there’s still so much more to do. It’s not just technology or knowledge that we need to win our fight to beat cancer – it’s funding.

“By boosting funding right now, the best research teams will be able to develop new treatments, bring cures faster and save more lives.”

Anyone wanting to support the campaign can buy a range of Stand Up To Cancer clothing and accessories from local cancer research shops.