New Cancer Laboratory Launches

The ACRF Tumour Metabolism Laboratory – part of the ACRF Centenary Cancer Research Centre – has been officially launched with the laboratory sporting the latest in advanced equipment and technology to help support the innovative cancer research. Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally.

The laboratory, established by a $2.5M grant from Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) and in collaboration with the Centenary Institute, is dedicated to the study of tumour cell metabolism, at a molecular level. The team then utilise this knowledge to develop new cancer diagnostics, treatments and cures.

“Cancer cells, like all the cells in our body, require nutrients from our diet to survive and to flourish,” says Professor Philip Hogg, Deputy Director, Centenary Institute and Head, ACRF Centenary Cancer Research Centre.

“While our healthy cells mostly produce energy from these nutrients, cancer cells use them to suit their malignant purpose – which is to divide as rapidly as they can. They aggressively soak up the nutrients in their environment and convert them into the components of new cancer cells – that is DNA, protein and lipids. The focus of this laboratory is to understand how cancer cells change their metabolism. If we can successfully stop the cancer cells from changing their metabolism then we can use this knowledge as a basis for developing exciting new anti-cancer therapies.”
The state-of-the-art equipment now available to the researchers at the ACRF Tumour Metabolism Laboratory allows for the precise measurement – down to the nanoscale – of the sugars, proteins and lipids that are consumed by the cancer cells.

“Our equipment enables our scientists to remain at the forefront of research in the cancer metabolism field. We have mass spectrometers to measure glucose and lipid metabolites in tumour cells, a specialised microscope to measure glucose metabolism in tumour infiltrating T cells, a live-cell platform for measurement of tumour cell metabolism as well as a hi-tech instrument to measure protein-drug interactions,” says Professor Hogg.

The team of researchers at the ACRF Tumour Metabolism Laboratory have an impressive history of success as well as proven experience in developing potential new therapeutics that have been tested in cancer patients in Australia and the United Kingdom.

“We have gathered a committed team of first-rate cancer scientists who will make discoveries that will that will benefit our children and our children’s children,” says Professor Hogg.

“ACRF is delighted to have backed this program which will return significant research findings. Our support, through the provision of equipment for the research, has been supplemented by a collaborative funding arrangement with Cancer Institute NSW who have assisted with complementary funding for research personnel. We so value the work that Professor Hogg and his team do to help deliver our supporters’ ambition to Outsmart Cancer,” says Kerry Strydom, CEO, Australian Cancer Research Foundation.