CCWA Paul Katris Honours and Masters Scholarships 

Full list of grants and recipients 2019

Project title
Testing the use of combined immune-system simulating treatment for lung cancer
Recipient  Miss Catherine Reynolds
Institution The University of Western Australia
Research description  

Mesothelioma is a cancer affecting the tissue surrounding the lung, with a low (6% after 5 years) survival rate.

Due to asbestos exposure, Australia has a high incidence rate with 600 new cases being reported each year. A new mesothelioma vaccine, which directs the immune system to target tumour cells, has elicited suboptimal immune responses.

This study aims to enhance this response by combining vaccination with immune stimulating therapies which block negative immune regulators. The vaccine, stimulating therapy, and combination therapy will be tested on mice with mesothelioma, and immune response measured based on tumour size and immune cell activity.

This vaccination treatment is soon to be implemented in human trials in Perth and the study of combined therapy could inform us on how to improve patient outcomes.

As all tumour-forming cancers express vaccination targets, the benefits of optimising this therapy extend beyond the treatment of mesothelioma.

Funding from CCWA $7,500
Supported In the names of the Ee Family & the Estate of James Kennedy


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Project title
 Boosting the immune response against sarcoma
Recipient   Miss Breana Weston
Institution  Murdoch University
Research description  

Soft tissue sarcoma is a group of cancers that derive from connective tissue, such as muscles, fat, blood vessels or lining of joints and it is most common in younger children.

Treatment consists of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy but unfortunately relapses and rapid spread throughout the body occurs frequently. There has only been little progress in clinical treatments in the past decades.

This project aims to develop an immune-stimulating treatment that can be used at the surgical site after a patient has had surgery to remove their sarcoma. This treatment aims to eradicate any cancer cells that were not removed during surgery, as well as promote immunity against any cancer cells that may have spread.

This will be tested using laboratory models of soft tissue sarcoma. Different immunotherapies will be tested to determine the optimal dose and schedule to induce an effective response, without interfering with normal wound healing.

This will hopefully result in an effective treatment to be eventually used in patients to prevent the reoccurence and spread of soft tissue sarcomas.

Funding from CCWA $7,500
Fully supported In the name of the Paul Katris Foundation Family

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