Cancer research partnership will improve treatments for patients

Cancer Research boost through ACRF fundingNew laboratories funded by ACRF are set to strengthen cancer research for some of the most prevalent cancers in Australia.

ACRF’s recent $2 million grant has allowed the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne to expand and enhance existing research programs into the causes of, and new treatments for breast cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer and leukaemia.

In order to do this, the ACRF funding will be directed into two particular cancer research divisions, known as ‘The ACRF Stem Cells and Cancer Division’ and ‘The ACRF Chemical Biology Division’.

“Lung cancer is the greatest cause of cancer-related death in Australians, while breast cancer is a leading cause of mortality in women,” said Professor Geoff Lindeman, joint head of the ACRF Stem Cells and Cancer Division (pictured, middle).

“These are diseases that are very prevalent, and patients need better treatments” he said. “Similarly, more research is needed into ovarian cancer, which is poorly understood and for which the outlook for patients is very poor. We need new treatment strategies, ACRF’s support will help us to do that.”

The ACRF Stem Cells and Cancer Division will focus on studying the biology of epithelial cancers, including breast, lung and ovarian cancer. Meanwhile, the ACRF Chemical Biology Division will use this knowledge to develop medications that have the potential to be used as anti-cancer agents.

The ACRF Chairman, Mr Tom Dery, has complimented the work of the WEHI scientists. “This is one of the finest cancer research centres in the world and we proudly support them” he said.

“Our support will enable their teams to discover more and then see development of new anti-cancer treatments. That’s great for patients affected by some of the deadliest cancers in Australia.”

The new laboratories will be officially opened in 2012.