$3.8 million boost for cancer research

Posted 27 Mar 2015.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Cancer Council Western Australia has announced a $3.8 million injection into WA cancer research – the largest amount Cancer Council has provided in annual research grants.

Making the announcement today at a lunch sponsored by the Parmelia Hilton Perth, Cancer Council WA Chief Executive Officer Susan Rooney paid tribute to the dedication of cancer researchers and the many supporters and donors who have made the funding boost possible.

“We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the West Australian community, which has enabled us to make this substantial investment into research funding and help to ensure world class research is taking place here,” Ms Rooney said.

Dr Carolyn McIntyre from Edith Cowan University is one of the successful grant recipients.

She has been awarded a $225,000 Postdoctoral Fellowship over three years to investigate how effective exercise can be in improving the lives of people living with the deadly lung cancer mesothelioma.

Dr McIntyre said the Cancer Council funding will be invaluable as it will allow a specific focus on mesothelioma patients.

“Exercise has already been shown to be very effective in improving the health of patients with lung and other types of cancer,” Dr McIntyre said.

“This will provide the opportunity to bridge two research groups to combine expertise with the goal of finding out how we can use exercise to improve the lives of patients with mesothelioma – which has never been looked at before.

“This Cancer Council WA funding is critical in allowing me to pursue research full time with the guidance of high quality mentors from two internationally renowned WA cancer research groups,” she said.

Dr McIntyre said she is hoping that a tailored exercise program can promote muscle strength mobility and confidence in patients, which will hopefully lead to improvements in quality of life.

Other areas of cancer research to be funded include;

•    Investigating carcinomas of unknown primary (CUP);
•    Developing automated patient positioning to improve the accuracy of prostate cancer radiation therapy;
•    Research to determine the importance of immune cells and molecules in Luminal B breast cancer; and
•    Determining whether mammographic density is a strong predictor of breast cancer risk in Western Australian Aboriginal women.

Ms Rooney said the research program supports our best and brightest cancer researchers at all stages of their career.

“Cancer Council WA seeks out the best cancer research within leading universities and institutions to ensure that the funds will have the highest possible impact in our collective fight against cancer” she said.

Ms Rooney said the financial support provided by the Cancer Council meant many of these researchers could spend less time chasing grants to fund their work and more time doing vital cancer research.

She said every grant we award is exposed to close individual scrutiny to ensure we invest our donors’ funds as effectively as possible.
Cancer Council WA, a community funded organisation, is one of the largest funders of cancer research in the State.

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