Cancer victim's memorial will fund pioneering research

Money raised by a memorial foundation for a 27-year-old London estate agent who died of cancer shortly after his wedding will establish a ground-breaking research fellowship.

The announcement was made by Professor Martin Gore — medical director of the Royal Marsden Hospital and one of the world’s leading experts on cancer treatment — at a gala event held by the Sam Keen Foundation at The Grove in Watford. The goal is to develop and test a new drug for treating malignant melanoma.

Some of Britain’s most promising young doctors will be invited to bid for the fellowship, which is expected to begin in January.

The foundation was launched at the shivah for Mr Keen, who died in November. Organisers of the gala, attended by nearly 300 people, were hoping to reach their target of £100,000 at the event. In fact, the £35,000 raised took the total to around £120,000. The night featured food, cocktails and a performance by Welsh-Jewish comedian Bennett Arron. A dinner with Danny DeVito was among the raffle prizes.

Sam Keen attended Rosh Pinah and Watford Grammar. He was diagnosed with melanoma while studying at Liverpool University and underwent more than 20 operations. His father Peter thanked “all our friends and family who have been so generous. Sam would have been so proud.”

Last updated: 4:19pm, July 5 2012