Immune therapy hope for breast cancer sufferers

Posted 14 Apr 2015.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Local Attadale resident Briony Clark hopes a Cancer Council Western Australia scholarship will help her to develop new treatment options for women with Luminal B breast cancer, which makes up 40% of all breast cancers.

Ms Clark is the recipient of a $7,500 Honours Scholarship which was announced as part of the annual Cancer Council WA Research funding grants.

She said while luminal B breast cancer patients constitute 40% of the breast cancer population, this sub-type has been left behind in much of the research and there have been no major advances in treatment or prognostic methods in recent years.

“This year-long study at Curtin University will hopefully provide much needed information for predicting treatment outcomes in luminal B patients and identifying new treatment targets. 

“The aim is to determine whether there are any differences in the number of immune cells and molecules between cancer patients with Luminal B who have relapsed versus those who have remained disease-free.” she said.

“The hope is that after evaluation of the immune cells and molecules that are present in those tumours we may uncover new methods for predicting patient outcomes and potential treatment targets for immune-related therapies.”

Ms Clark said the scholarship from Cancer Council WA is very important.

“As an Honours student you are not paid for the work that you do, and scientific research can be a very demanding and time-consuming field, therefore you do not have much time to work to cover living expenses and equipment costs.

“This Cancer Council scholarship will now allow me to put 100% of my time and focus into my studies and fully immerse myself in the world of research,” she said.

She said she is excited about what the research may achieve.
“This research has the potential to benefit the thousands of women who are diagnosed with luminal B breast cancer each year,” Ms Clark said.

The grant is part of $3.8 million in research funding announced by Cancer Council WA at a recent lunch sponsored by the Parmelia Hilton in Perth.

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.

Found in:  News - 2015 media releases | View all news