$3 million boost for cancer research

2 May 2014

Cancer research will benefit from a $3.2 million injection of funds thanks to Cancer Council WA.

The annual funding grants will be announced today at a lunch sponsored by the Parmelia Hilton.

Associate Professor Pilar Blancafort from the Cancer Epigenetics Group at University of Western Australia is one of the successful grant recipients.

A/Prof Blancafort will use a four year research fellowship to explore new ‘genome’ based therapies for advanced breast cancer patients who presently face limited treatment options.

These therapies target the cancer genes that are not functioning properly in the breast cancer patient.

A/Prof Blancafort said she was excited to have been awarded the fellowship.

“It’s very rewarding because developing these ‘novel’ therapies is a difficult field in terms of attracting federal funding and the backing of a funder like Cancer Council is a great boost,” A/Prof Blancafort said.

“I believe it will help us to explore new ground and move beyond the established science in this field of cancer research.”
Other cancer research projects to be funded include;

•    Research into the treatment of gastro-intestinal cancers;
•    Development of an imaging test to assist in the treatment of glioblastoma patients;
•    Understanding the consequences of changing patterns of asbestos exposure; and
•    A world first trial to test radiotherapy treatment for mesothelioma patients.

Terry Slevin, Director of Education and Research at Cancer Council WA, said the research program supports our best and brightest cancer researchers at all stages of their career.
“Our research grants program is constantly evolving to ensure we adapt to the changing environment in which research is done.

“Cancer Council WA provides an essential step in helping cancer researchers to compete on the national stage and attract bigger funding grants,” he said.

Mr Slevin said every grant Cancer Council awards is exposed to close individual scrutiny to ensure donors’ funds are invested as effectively as possible.

Cancer Council WA, a community funded organisation, is one of the largest funders of cancer research in the State through a peer reviewed grants scheme.

A full list of the grants made can be viewed at http://cancerwa.asn.au/research/successfulresearchfunding/

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