New ACT drug discovery platform

img_1574Today, Australian National University (ANU), the ACT Minister for Health and Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) will launch a new robotic system to fast-track the development of new drugs to fight cancer and other diseases.

Projects using this platform will also help to screen existing drugs and novel compounds to identify if they are effective alone or in combinational therapies on cancer cells.

This initiative was made possible in part by an ACRF grant of $2 million, awarded in 2015, to provide the equipment required to screen native Australian plants for anti-cancer properties.

Professor Ian Brown, CEO of Australian Cancer Research Foundation says “ACRF is a private foundation supported by community members who are interested in advancing cancer research. It’s inspiring to see researchers at ANU push cancer research forward with this funding and turn it into tangible treatments that future patients will benefit from.”

The High-Throughput Robotic Target and Drug Discovery Screening Platform at the ACRF Department of Cancer Biology and Therapeutics is the first technology of its kind in the ACT.

The specialised robotics and precision instruments will enable researchers to test thousands of possible drug compounds against hundreds of disease cells, to find the best possible treatment for patients.

ACT Centenary Chair of Cancer Research Professor Ross Hannan said the new technology would increase research collaboration and lead to more rapid drug discoveries in the fight against cancer and many other diseases.

“This is an exciting time for research collaboration across the ACT. The multi-million dollar equipment will cut screening times from years to months,” Professor Hannan, Head of the Department of Cancer Biology and Therapeutics at ANU said.

Until now, researchers in the ACT needed to travel to Sydney or Melbourne to use similar machines. They would also need to stay for months while the testing was done.

Professor Hannan said the technology could give new hope to patients with diseases that have failed all standard therapies and who have no other options.

“We now have the potential to repurpose drugs, testing against more than 4,000 drugs in the FDA drug library have been approved for use in humans to treat disease,” he said.

Professor Hannan said that in the case of cancer, researchers will be able to take bone marrow and tumour cells, grow them in culture, and screen every known compound currently approved for use in humans against the cell lines to see if one could be used to treat the patient.

“In one to two weeks we could identify existing drugs, repurpose them for new treatments, and rapidly set up trials,” he said.
The Target and Drug Discovery Platform has been set up at JCSMR with the generous support of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation and ACT Health.

Rosie’s story: Why I support cancer research

b846d8_067ec229e34b4b7c809d5e07242a14fe“It was 2007 and I was enjoying retirement after 30 years in nursing. But I had been experiencing stomach pain and weight loss for a few months. I’d ignored my friend’s continued pleas to see a doctor. Even though I knew there was a problem, I was in denial.

I finally had a gastroscopy procedure which confirmed I had stomach cancer. The first words that came out of my mouth were ‘How long have I got?’ and I remember feeling calm. My husband Jeff and I immediately broke the news to our children, both of whom were living overseas. Without delay, they flew home to be by my side and also support their father.

Over the next few weeks, I went through many different tests. A biopsy from my stomach showed it was a “rare lymphoid tissue lymphoma” and could be treated by antibiotics and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, a few weeks later another gastroscopy revealed the cancer was unaffected by antibiotics and it had spread through my stomach and developed into a high-grade lymphoma. The next move was a CAT scan to map out my stomach. I had to be given four minuscule tattoos as reference markers for my radiation treatment and I couldn’t wait to tell my son-in-law, who has a large tattoo on his arm, that now I had tattoos too!

It was humour that often helped me get through each day. It was a frightening time but I was so hell-bent on fighting for my survival. It’s amazing how the body and mind can cope through such a nightmare.

In early March, I started four weeks of daily radiation treatments. The treatments were successful and I was in remission until late June when I found a lump on the left side of my neck. A biopsy confirmed it was an aggressive type of cancer known as ‘diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.’ Surgery could only remove part of the node as it had adhered to my jugular vein so I began chemotherapy in August to help treat it. It was a particularly daunting time. I was nauseous, lost my sense of smell and taste and developed blisters in my mouth. I also became very forgetful, especially pots cooking on the stove. The loss of body hair made me feel very self-conscious. Thank goodness for wigs!

To deal with the side effects of my cancer treatment, I started composing music and lyrics. I never thought in my wildest dream, I would compose the story of my cancer experiences through music. It became the best medicine for me, taking me to another world where I could disassociate my cancer pain and any other discomforts from my various treatments.

After two months, the chemo treatment was finally over and I was back in remission in October 2008. I continued for another month on fortnightly MabThera IV treatment to kill off any stray cancer cells that might have been floating around my body. In March 2009 I had the best 60th birthday gift given to me, which was an offer to have my stem cells collected and stored for future use. but I hope I never have to use them!

The chemotherapy did affect my immune system badly and in 2010 I was placed on monthly IV Intragam Therapy to help rebuild it. Finally, the good news came in 2011. The oncologist informed me that I was cured, but there was a caveat – cancer may come back in about ten years. My reply was, “I’m not going to worry about the future as new and better treatments will be found.”

After experiencing cancer myself and losing friends who were not so lucky, I wanted to support cancer research. I know that researchers are working on new and improved treatments that will one day make our fear of cancer a thing of the past. After looking at various Australian cancer organisations I came across ACRF and was very impressed with how it functioned. Donations go towards grants that buy state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment for the best cancer researcher projects around the country.

I have raised money for ACRF in many different ways over the years. I’ve sold my handmade chocolates, jams and musical pattern placemats and serviettes. I’ve also hosted morning teas and organised garage sales with my husband and a few friends. One of my favourite fundraising activities so far has been creating my album ‘Chrysalis’, a musical storybook of cancer experiences. Proceeds from the sale of this CD go towards ACRF. I wanted to make a touching and uplifting album written from the heart to help others who are going through similar experiences. I want to support others who need to talk about their feelings and frustrations when going through cancer. Anyone interested is welcome to visit my website and interact with me. Hopefully, they will realise they are not alone.” – ACRF supporter, Rosie Lee

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Support of cancer research in Australia turns ideas into information

The new ACRF Child Cancer Personalised Medicine Centre’s specialised robots can now rapidly test hundreds of treatments for kids with high-risk cancers to guide their care..

Each year, ACRF challenges the Australian cancer research community to propose projects that are bold and have the potential to make a significant impact on cancer prevention, detection and treatment.

Eleven projects were submitted from across the country and evaluated by ACRF’s esteemed Medical Research Advisory Committee who were impressed by the quality and vision of the applications. From these, four were chosen to receive grants.

“Thanks to the generosity of our many supporters from around Australia each year we are able to award high-impact grants, allowing Australia’s best scientists to embark on ground-breaking research projects. These initiatives in cancer research cover all types of cancer and speed up discoveries, ultimately working to save lives by saving time,” said Professor Ian Brown, CEO of Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

The recipients of the annual ACRF grants in 2016 are:

  • ACRF Tumour Heterogeneity Program – $2 million to learn more about the mutation, internal variation, location and the impact of time on growth and treatment of tumours. Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC), VIC
  • ACRF Tumour Metabolism Laboratory – $2.5 million to determine the differences in nutrient metabolism by cancerous and normal cells to improve cancer treatments. Centenary Institute, NSW
  • ACRF Cancer Ultrastructure and Function Facility – $2.3 million to provide microscopes that can see cancer cell behaviour and their response to drugs in order to stop the spread of cancer. Institute for Molecular Biosciences University of Queensland, QLD

Since its inception, 32 years ago, ACRF has awarded $129.1 million in grants to Australian cancer research institutes across the country to pay for infrastructure and equipment.

Funding from ACRF has helped get some of the most successful cancer research projects get off the ground, including the early support of the research that led to the cervical cancer vaccine.

ACRF is dedicated to funding research in Australia that has the power to make significant breakthroughs in cancer diagnosis and treatment and will continue to fund cutting-edge treatment until cancer no longer poses a threat to the health of Australians.

Facts and Statistics about Common Women’s Cancers: Breast, Gynaecological, Cervical and Ovarian

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Each day up to 170 women in Australia are diagnosed with cancer. With this alarming figure, ACRF is determined to make a difference in the lives of Australian women through cancer research.

To raise awareness of the cancers that affect women this month, we’ve compiled a few interesting facts and stats.

Women’s cancer facts and statistics at a glance

  • 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with some form of cancer before the age of 85
  • There are over 200 types of cancer that can affect women
  • The most common cancers diagnosed with Australian women are: non-melanoma of the skin, breast, colorectal, leukaemia and lymphoma
  • Thanks to research, survival rates were highest for women diagnosed with thyroid cancer (97%), lip cancer (94%) and melanoma of the skin (94%)

Breast cancer facts and statistics

  • 1 in 8 women diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 85
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australian women
  • Thanks to research, the 5 year survival rate is just over 90%
  • Known risk factors are diet, alcohol consumption and physical inactivity
  • Breast cancer in men accounts for around 1% of all breast cancer occurrences

Gynaecological cancer facts and statistics

  • The risk of an individual being diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer by age 85 is 1 in 22.
  • Gynaecological cancers were the 3rd most commonly diagnosed cancer among females in Australia.
  • Known risk factors include age
  • The five year survival rate is 68%
  • Gynaecological cancers include malignant neoplasms of vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, placenta and ovaries

For more information on gynaecological cancer, click here.

Cervical cancer facts and statistics

  • The risk of a woman being diagnosed with cervical cancer by the age of 85 is 1 in 162.
  • The five-year survival rate for women with cervical cancer is 72%
  • In 2009, cervical cancer was the third most commonly diagnosed gynaecological cancer in Australia
  • Since the introduction of the National Cervical Screening Program in 1991, the number of new cases of cervical cancer for women of all ages almost halved
  • In 2006, Professor Ian Frazer and his team at the University of Queensland discovered a vaccine to prevent HPV, protecting women against most types of cervical cancer

Ovarian cancer facts and statistics

  • 1 in 75 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer before the age of 85
  • Most common most common cause of gynaecological cancer death in Australia
  • More research is needed to increase the 5 year survival rate from 45%
  • Known risk factors are family history and genetic susceptibility as well as obesity and physical inactivity
  • Symptoms are often vague and can be similar to the symptoms of many other conditions

Donate or Fundraise To Support Women’s Cancer Research

By donating, fundraising for and supporting cancer research into all cancers that affect women, you are helping to fund the next big breakthrough in cancer detection and treatment.

Our Woman’s Appeal aims to raise much needed funds for research into common women’s cancers, including breast, cervical and ovarian cancer. You can make a donation today to help fund research for women with cancer.

Gypsys Gift: fighting cancer with music

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Over the weekend, the band unveiled the new music video for their single, Feed the Fire, alongside a special announcement.

“We do not ask that you buy our new song – we’re doing things a little differently this time. In support of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, we aim to create awareness of cancer research with the release of Feed the Fire. Our ONLY intention is to raise as much money as possible for cancer research. All funds raised will go directly to ACRF, and this will be an ongoing campaign for us.” said Gemma.

“The last couple of years have been both incredible and heartbreaking for Jimi and I. We have travelled the world and experienced remarkable growth, but we have also been on a tough road.

Two Christmases ago we were faced with the hard news that my Mum, Joanne, was diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer.

Mum underwent multiple major surgeries to remove half her liver, gall bladder, part of the bowel and lymph nodes. She then went through six months of chemotherapy treatment as a further measure to prevent the cancer coming back.

Joanne and Gemma 2This was a whole new world for my entire family. We felt very much in the dark as we had no experience and no understanding of what anything meant. It’s safe to say the journey was hard on all of us, especially on my Mum, step-dad and two brothers who lived through this every day.

Slowly things began to feel normal again as Mum was recovering day by day. Although the physical and emotional scars of the cancer had not entirely faded, my Mum, being the warrior that she is, was soaring to better days.

Then out of the blue, while I was on my way to a songwriting session, I received a phone call that would once again change the lives of myself and family.

Mum had been re-diagnosed with terminal cancer of the liver. Hearing the news was like being in a movie. A fear that I have never felt, and didn’t quite comprehend, washed over me – I was now faced with losing my mother when she was only 48 years old.

They say, as an adult you must carry on. But this time, it’s not been the case. This is now my life. I often describe it as living in a permanent nightmarish limbo-land.

We all have our good days and our bad days, but my Mum has kept us all positive and moving forward. She has spent her entire life putting everyone else before herself, and even now, she wishes for nothing more than everyone else’s happiness.

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research Grants, cancer scientists, Challenge, charity challenge, charity foundation, donate to charity, current cancer research, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, give to charity, regular giving, gemma ameera, jimi may, gypsys giftMum has been fighting cancer for a couple of years now – in true grace. Her resilience, strength and courage is unfathomable and we stand by her side while she battles through this.

This illness has turned the life of myself and my loved ones upside down, and this happens every day to families all over the world. Cancer does not discriminate; almost everyone has been touched by this illness in some way or another.

This painful journey has inspired Jimi and me to help put an end to cancer, and we will not cure cancer without research. This is why we feel so passionately about ACRF. It is my belief that they are by far one of the most compassionate and forward-thinking foundations we know.

We are determined to raise money for the research that we all so desperately need to stop this illness. Every little bit helps and I truly believe it raises the spirits of those struggling with cancer too. Great things happen when people work together.” ACRF supporters, Gemma & Jimi, Gypsys Gift.

To support Gemma and Jimi, click here.

Ajith’s cycle challenge for cancer research

Ajith

“My name is Ajith, I’m 54 years old and based in Melbourne. In September I’ll be taking on a solo cycle challenge to fundraise for cancer research. I’m inspired by the work of Australian Cancer Research Foundation and I want to do my part to help give scientists the equipment they need to do their lifesaving work.

I have known a few people who have been affected by cancer, two of them were very close to me. These friends lived a very healthy lifestyle – they made sure to exercise regularly, eat nutritious food and they weren’t smokers. Yet cancer still impacted these people’s lives.

These experiences with cancer have shown me just how important it is to support organisations like the ACRF so that we can gain a better understanding of cancer and develop proactive and preventative measures to avoid all types of this disease.

In a few months’ time, I’ll be travelling to Spain to cycle a historic pilgrim route called El Camino de Santiago, which is also known by the English names: Way of St. James and Road to Santiago. The trail is in Galicia in north-western Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the Saint are buried.

For me, this is a personal challenge. The 700-kilometre trail across a mix of flat, hilly, gravel roads will take me approximately 16 days to travel if I cycle for 4-6 hours per day.

I have been cycling for 20 years and love to be outdoors in the fresh air discovering nature and taking in beautiful sights.

I am looking forward to being on this cycle tour. I really enjoy travelling. I have been to more than 70 countries in the world and I love to meet new people along the way and experience various local cuisines, and this time I’ll also be raising funds for a cause close to my heart,” ACRF supporter Ajith.

Cancer Research Breakthrough could help prevent breast cancer in high-risk women

Cancer researchers at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute have discovered that an existing medication could prevent breast cancer in women carrying a faulty BRCA1 gene.

By pinpointing the cells that give rise to breast cancers in women who have inherited a faulty version of the BRCA1 gene, researchers have identified that the drug denosumab may have the potential to prevent breast cancer from developing. If confirmed in clinical studies, this would provide a non-surgical option to prevent breast cancer in women with elevated genetic risk.

People who carry a faulty BRCA1 gene are at high risk of developing aggressive breast cancer. Currently, many women with the gene mutation choose surgical removal of their breast tissue and ovaries to reduce their chance of developing cancer.

Using samples of breast tissue donated by women carrying the faulty gene, Ms Emma Nolan, Professor Jane Visvader and Professor Geoff Lindeman were able to pinpoint the cells that give rise to breast cancer.

“Cancer precursor cells in BRCA1-mutant breast tissue had many similarities to aggressive forms of breast cancer,” said PhD student Ms Nolan.

“These cells proliferated rapidly and were susceptible to damage to their DNA – both factors that help them transition towards cancer. We were excited to discover that these pre-cancerous cells could be identified by a marker protein called RANK.”

Professor Lindeman, who is also a medical oncologist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, said the discovery of RANK as a marker of cancer precursors was an important breakthrough because inhibitors of the RANK signalling pathway were already in clinical use.

“An inhibitor called denosumab is already used in the clinic to treat osteoporosis and breast cancer that has spread to the bone,” he said. “Which is what led us to investigate what effect RANK inhibition had on the cancer precursor cells in BRCA1-mutant breast tissue.”

The research team showed that RANK inhibition switched off cell growth in breast tissue from women with a faulty BRCA1 gene and curtailed breast cancer development in laboratory models.

“We think this strategy could delay or prevent breast cancer in women with an inherited BRCA1 gene mutation,” Professor Lindeman said. A clinical trial has already begun to investigate this further.

A concurrent study led by an Austrian group had also identified the importance of RANK. Both studies suggest that targeting RANK offers hope to women at high genetic risk for breast cancer.

Professor Visvader said the discovery had its basis in more than a decade of investigations of breast stem cell function.

“By thoroughly dissecting how normal breast tissue develops, we have been able to pinpoint the precise cells that are the culprits in cancer formation,” she said.

“It is very exciting to think that we may be on the path to the ‘holy grail’ of cancer research, devising a way to prevent this type of breast cancer in women at high genetic risk.”

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has supported WEHI by providing three grants, totalling AUD 5.5million towards cutting edge cancer research equipment and technology.

The research was published in Nature Medicine. The original news post was published on the WEHI website.

Zoe takes on Mt Kilimanjaro for cancer research

Cancer, types of cancer, cancer foundation, australian cancer research foundation, cancer charities, cancer charity, acrf, cancer news, cancer fundraising, cancer awareness, cancer donate, cancer donation, cancer donations, give to charity, giving to charity, cancer articles, cancer research donate, cancer research donation, donate to cancer research, cancer research funding, charities for cancer, donate to cancer, Australian cancer charities, australia cancer research, best cancer charity, cancer research fundraising, cancer charity events, cancer charity donations, donate to cancer charity, australia cancer research, cancer research fundraising, give to cancer research,“In October, I’ll be fulfilling one of my biggest dreams — climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. About six years ago I did some trekking in Nepal and Tibet, and because I’m such a beach girl I was really surprised by how much I loved being in the mountains. It gave me this unexpected sense of peace and inspired me to explore other places.

I knew that when I did finally get the chance to turn my dream into a reality, I would be fundraising for cancer along the way.

Cancer research is a cause that is very dear to my heart. I have witnessed many loved ones suffer from this disease, including my grandfather who passed away from bowel cancer 16 years ago.

My Aunty is now fighting ovarian cancer as well. After two rounds of chemotherapy, we’re hopeful that it won’t progress. Despite what she’s going through, she still carries herself with such courage and grace and inspires everyone around her.

Her son was diagnosed with leukaemia at just two years old and sadly lost his battle at seven. I was 14 at the time and I remember how brave he was, how little he complained, and how much I learned about the importance of living each day to the fullest. This is when I first realised that life is precious and not to be wasted.

You only live once so you may as well make it count, which is why I thought; why wait any longer to cross Mt Kilimanjaro off my bucket list?

I really love to travel and meet new people and see new cultures so this is the perfect opportunity. Africa is such a fascinating place to me and I’m really looking forward to being in nature, removed from all the distractions of daily life. The area looks so stunning, I’m hoping that I might get a glimpse of some of the ‘Big 5‘ in their natural habitat.

I’m sure it will be challenging but I’m passionate about breaking down the limitations of the mind and living the life of your dreams. A few years ago, I was in a serious car accident that left me with injuries and for months I was bed ridden, so ever since then I love to challenge myself physically and mentally.

Cancer, types of cancer, cancer foundation, australian cancer research foundation, cancer charities, cancer charity, acrf, cancer news, cancer fundraising, cancer awareness, cancer donate, cancer donation, cancer donations, give to charity, giving to charity, cancer articles, cancer research donate, cancer research donation, donate to cancer research, cancer research funding, charities for cancer, donate to cancer, Australian cancer charities, australia cancer research, best cancer charity, cancer research fundraising, cancer charity events, cancer charity donations, donate to cancer charity, australia cancer research, cancer research fundraising, give to cancer research,I remember trekking in Tibet, over a pass at 5500 metres and feeling so sick that I wanted to give up. But I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and telling myself “you can do this, this is nothing compared to what you’ve been through before.” The sense of accomplishment at the end of the day was like nothing else. It showed me that we can do anything we put our minds to.

I am so proud to be climbing for cancer research. With 1 in 3 people now being diagnosed with cancer, I believe anything we can do to stop cancer in its tracks is important. Having seen so many loved ones go through treatment I think the more we learn about the disease, the better treatment will become. My hope is that we can not only cure cancer but prevent it.

In honour of those who have survived, who kicked cancer in the butt, to those who are currently fighting and to those who have lost their battle, I dedicate this climb to you. I know that all of you will be with me every step of the way.” – ACRF supporter, Zoe Trenwith

Zoe is a yoga teacher and in the lead up to her climb, she will be hosting a 108 Sun Salutation Fundraising class in South Australia on June 17th. “As a yoga teacher, I knew that hosting a yoga event was one way I could do something to bring people together.” If you would like to support Zoe, or find out more about her yoga class, click here.

Cancer researchers ‘switch on’ Natural Killer cells to fight cancer

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) researchers, led by Dr Sandra Nicholson and Dr Nicholas Huntington, together with colleagues from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR), are investigating ways to ‘switch on’ our Natural Killer (NK) cells to fight cancer.

The researchers identified a protein ‘brake’ within Natural Killer cells that controls their ability to destroy their target tumour cells.

“Natural Killer cells exist to detect and then destroy any deviant cells in our bodies before those cells go on to develop into tumours or before infection spreads,” Dr Nicholson said.

“Natural Killer cells are a key part of our immune system they work by locating other cells posing a danger to health either because they are infected or because they are becoming a cancer cell,” she continued.

Our bodies are constantly and successfully fighting off the development of cells that lead to tumours – but when there is disruption to this process cancer is free to develop.

In their paper published in Nature Immunology, they showed that when the brake was removed in an experimental model, the NK cells were better able to protect the body against metastatic melanoma.

Natural Killer cells rely on a growth factor called Interleukin 15 (IL15) to activate. Dr Nicholson and Dr Huntington’s research has shown that an inhibitor protein made inside the Natural Killer cells limits the ability of the NK cell to respond to IL15 and therefore kill cancer cells.

By identifying for the first time how this protein inhibits NK cell responses, they now hope that a drug can be developed that will improve the response of NK cells to this growth factor and help patients fight cancer with their own immune system.

“This is about learning how to activate the NK cells of the individual patient and boost their immune system to tackle the disease,” Dr Huntington said.

“We are hopeful our research will lead to new immunotherapies that supercharge the body’s Natural Killer cells and maintain it in a highly active state to more efficiently and specifically fight cancer.”

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has supported WEHI by providing three grants, totalling AUD 5.5million towards cutting edge cancer research equipment and technology.

The original news post including the YouTube video was published on WEHI website.

ACRF teams up with H&R Block to provide tax calculator that shows the true value of donations to cancer research

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research Grants, cancer scientists, charity foundation, current cancer research, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, fundraising, tax time donation, tax time, June tax time appeal, immediate tax benefit, tax deductible donations, tax donation, tax-deductible donationThis tax season, the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) has partnered with tax accountants, H&R Block to deliver an online calculator that tells individuals how much tax they will receive back from their donation, as well as exactly what their donation has the capacity to fund.

The creative concept and implementation of the calculator was all thanks to pro-bono work done by M&C Saatchi’s creative team.

“We hope that by being transparent and showing donors how much influence even a small donation can have on the work that’s being done in cancer research, it will help them understand how truly valuable their support is,” commented Professor Ian Brown, CEO of the ACRF.

Last year, donations to the ACRF went towards equipment that is being used to further develop personalised cancer treatments, detect lung cancer before it spreads, and examine native Australian plants to see if they can be used to develop new cancer treatments.

The ACRF has been a driving force behind cancer research for over 30 years. However, with success rates now less than 14 percent for applications to grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council, the organisation is keen to do all it can to increase the availability of vital funding.

Advancements in technology are allowing researchers to analyse data like never before. But such technology is difficult to get funding for. The ACRF is the only national charity in Australia whose sole purpose is to make advanced equipment and technology more accessible to Australian cancer researchers, regardless of the type of cancer they study. This is helping prevent the best and brightest scientists from moving elsewhere or changing jobs.

The support of H&R Block, as well as other corporate partners, continues to help ACRF provide the sector with the lifeline that it needs.

“At H&R Block we value the health and wellbeing of all Australians, so we’re proud to assist ACRF in its goal to deliver the highest impact in an area of vital need. Too many people are suffering from the effects of cancer, so being even a small part of the solution is both humbling and gratifying,” said Brodie Dixon, managing director of H&R Block.

New research study explains how cancer cells resist treatment

cancer research, types of cancer, funding research, fighting cancer, current cancer research, cancer scientists, cancer statistics Australia, cancer charity, charity foundation, ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research Grants, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Victoria, leukaemiaCancer researchers at grant recipient, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) in Melbourne have worked out how a new class of anticancer drugs kill cancer cells. The finding also helps explain how cancer cells may become resistant to treatment.

Dr Zhen Xu, Professor David Huang, Dr Stefan Glaser and colleagues studied a class of anti-cancer drugs called BET inhibitors, which are considered promising new drugs for the treatment of blood cancers such as leukaemia and lymphomas.

BET inhibitors reduce tumour growth by blocking BET proteins, a family of proteins that control whether genes are switched on or off.

Although it has been known that BET inhibitors are effective at halting tumour growth, it has been unclear whether the drugs kill cancer cells outright.

The research team found that when tumours are treated with drugs, some resistant cancer cells can survive and continue to grow, leading to disease relapse. In the process, they identified potential ways in which cancer cells may develop resistance to BET inhibitors.

The experiments revealed that BET inhibitors principally act to kill cancer cells through the process of programmed cell death (apoptosis). For BET inhibitors to successfully kill lymphoma and myeloid leukaemia cells the presence of a protein called BIM, which brings on apoptosis, was critical.

“We found that when apoptosis was impaired, for instance by the loss of BIM, the BET inhibitors were no longer effective,” Dr Xu said.

“This suggests that cancer cells that acquire mutations in genes that drive apoptosis will lose sensitivity to BET inhibitors and thus will be able to survive treatment, leading to disease relapse.”

Dr Glaser said that knowing how BET inhibitors worked could help researchers develop improved strategies for using these drugs to treat cancer.

“Understanding how the drugs work gives us the opportunity to investigate new treatments, for example by using combination therapies, or altering the dosage and timing of treatment to prevent drug resistance from emerging,” Dr Glaser said.

The original news post was published on the WEHI website.

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has supported the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute by providing three grants, totalling AUD 5.5million, towards cutting edge cancer research equipment and technology.

Stevie saddles up for cancer research

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, cancer scientists, charity foundation, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, Fundraiser“Dad was a typical country guy. He was always dressed in a flannel shirt with his shoulder-length hair tied into a ponytail.

Nine years ago we lost him to lung cancer. I was just 12-years-old and my older sister was 15. Since then, my family has participated in various events to help raise funds for cancer research, including an annual charity walk.

This year, I was inspired to do something a little different. I’d recently been thinking about the loving horse my dad left to my sister and me when he passed away. I realised this beautiful horse is one of the last things I have of my dad. So I decided I would plan a Horse-riding Fundraiser to honour him and support cancer research.

His horse is named Boston and they had a really beautiful connection – my dad adored her and you could tell that she really loved him too. She would always come right over when he called her. My sister and I now look after her. She’s a very quiet and gentle horse, but she’s also the boss – and she knows it!

Our family has always had a love for horses. Both my parents rode – mum used to ride in competitions all the time, but dad did it just for the love of it. When my sister and I were growing up we loved listening to all their horse stories and going on rides with them. It was so special to have that time together and I’ll always cherish those memories.

I now have a beautiful one-year-old daughter and it saddens me to know that she’ll never get to meet her pop and that my dad will never get to meet his granddaughter. I hope that together we can make great memories of horse-riding too. Even before she could walk we would sit with her on the back of Boston and gently lead her around, she loved it.

I’ll actually be riding Boston on the day of the charity ride. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy a day with these beautiful animals and show their support for cancer research. People are encouraged to bring their horses along. We’ll be organising market stalls and entertainment to help make the day as fun as possible.

The fundraiser will be held at Chapman Valley Horse Riding. They have generously donated the use of their 8,000 acres to the cause. It’s located in Howes Valley, which is an hour drive from Pokolbin and a two-hour drive from Sydney and Newcastle. There will also be a camping area for people to stay overnight and make a weekend of it.

The only fee for the day will be $35 per person to ride and $10 per car to camp on the grounds.

Cancer research is a cause close to my heart and being able to do this in the memory of my dad means the world to me. I’m so proud to be doing my part to help support the amazing researchers who are working to end cancer.” ACRF supporter, Stevie Lee Ackley

To register or learn more about the event, please contact Stevie directly at stevie.ackley@hotmail.com. If you can’t attend but would like to help Stevie reach her fundraising goal, click here.

More genetic risk factors for endometrial cancer uncovered

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Cancer researchers at ACRF grant recipient, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, along with research teams from the University of Cambridge and Oxford University, have discovered five new gene regions that increase a woman’s risk of developing endometrial cancer.

Endometrial cancer affects the lining of the uterus. It is the sixth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian women, with nearly 2,500 new cases expected to be diagnosed in 2016.

The study was led by the head of the Molecular Cancer Epidemiology laboratory at QIMR Berghofer, Associate Professor Amanda Spurdle, and has been published in Nature Genetics.

Associate Professor Spurdle said the findings helped to paint a clearer picture of the genetic causes of endometrial cancer in women who do not have a strong family history of cancer.

“Up until now, we have only known about four gene regions in women in the general population that contribute to the risk of developing endometrial cancer,” Associate Professor Spurdle said.

“In this study, we have identified another five, bringing the total to nine. This finding doubles the number of risk regions we know of, and therefore significantly increases our knowledge of the genetic drivers of endometrial cancer.”

The study also looked at how the identified gene regions might be increasing the risk of other cancers, and what the implications would be for the future treatment of endometrial cancer patients.

Interestingly, several of the gene regions we identified in the study were already known to contribute to the risk of other common cancers.

“As we develop a more comprehensive view of the genetic risk factors for endometrial cancer, we can start to work out which genes could potentially be targeted with new treatments down the track,” Associate Professor Spurdle said.

“In particular, we can start looking into whether there are drugs that are already approved and available for use that can be used to target those genes. Our genetic findings may also be useful, together with our knowledge of other risk factors, to identify women at risk of endometrial cancer so they can be regularly checked and be alert to the signs and symptoms.”

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has supported QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute by providing three grants, totalling AUD 6.65million, towards cutting edge cancer research equipment and technology.

The original news post was published on the QIMR Berghofer website.

Introducing our 2016 City2Surf Ambassador!

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We’re excited to announce our first ever Team ACRF City2Surf Ambassador, Jessica Broome.

Jess is an incredibly positive young woman with a close connection to cancer research. We are honoured to have her join us this year as our Ambassador.

The last time Jess ran with Team ACRF was in 2014. Her Dad had been diagnosed with cancer eight years earlier, and she ran in support of his journey. After crossing the finish line, having raised over $1,600 for cancer research, she celebrated with a toast to her Dad.

This year Jess will be running again.

“I’m passionate about cancer research because I lost my Dad to cancer in April this year.

A month before we lost him, I watched him walk up the hospital hallway and achieve the massive goal he had been working towards with his physio team. It seemed impossible to most of us, but he was always determined to get better.

He was a fighter, not just as a fireman, but in the way he refused to give up.

We were fortunate that he qualified for numerous medical trials which managed to get him through each year. For ten years they kept coming back with something new, like a magic trick that the researchers would pull out of a hat.

Each new trial medication that came around, he would give it a go – no matter what. There were many years where we thought to ourselves: ‘This is it. This is the last Christmas, this is the last father’s day’…but it never was.

Thanks to those trials our family was able to spend more precious time with him, which meant so much to us.

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Mum and I were playing all his favourite songs on his last day, one of those songs was Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett. We were dancing around his bed like mad women.They say that hearing is the last thing to go, so I just know this would have made him happy.

He suffered many different cancers over the last ten years, but it was brain cancer that took him in the end. I feel that was the worst for him to go through. I’d really like to see a trial medication to treat this, other than steroids and pain killers. I know researchers are going to get there in time.

This is why I have decided to participate in this year’s City2Surf for cancer research. It’s a great way to support a great cause.

I’m not the best runner, but I really enjoy it. I think it will probably be quite a challenge as I haven’t been running for quite a while. My Dad was always telling me to get back into it, so now I’m doing it!

I think he would really love that I’m getting involved. He always liked to make sure he thanked people when they helped him. So this is my thank you on his behalf.

I’ll know I’ll probably cry through the finish line, but afterwards, I plan to throw one hell of a party! That’s how he would do it!” Jessica Broome ACRF City2Surf Ambassador

 

 

 

New genome sequencing technologies for childhood cancer patients

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Australian children with high-risk cancer will have access to new genome sequencing technologies that could help guide their treatment thanks to the Lions Kids Cancer Genome Project.

The Zero Childhood Cancer Program launched in September 2015 and is currently one of the most detailed genetic and biological analyses of children’s cancer globally. The Lions Kids Cancer Genome project will serve as an important new component to the program as it expands its efforts.

Whole genome sequencing will take place following diagnosis or relapse of cancers with the poorest prognoses, such as brain tumours.

Sequencing looks at each child’s entire genome and its 20,000+ genes in order to define the genetic changes associated with a given cancer. This makes it possible to develop personalised cancer treatment by integrating genetic information with other biological and clinical data.

In addition, the study will identify genetic changes in each child’s DNA that might predispose a person to cancer, helping to build up a database of genetic risk factors that could assist with prevention and treatment strategies in the future.

At any one time in Australia, over 2,000 children, adolescents, and young adults, are on active treatment for cancer or at risk of relapse. In most cases, the treatments used are general, non-targeted, cytotoxic drugs and the side effects from treatment can be serious and lifelong.

The Zero Childhood Cancer Program is a national initiative of Children’s Cancer Institute (CCI) and The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, giving hope to children with the highest risk of treatment failure or relapse. Genome sequencing and analysis for the project will be carried out at Garvan Institute of Medical Research’s Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics.

The Lions Kids Cancer Genome Project is supported by the Lions Club International Foundation and by the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation. The project will roll out through the Zero Childhood Cancer Program to children’s hospitals across Australia in 2017.

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) welcomes the new initiative and partnership which will contribute towards improving children’s quality of life and ending all childhood cancers.

ACRF has supported Children’s Cancer Institute, including the Zero Childhood Program, by providing three grants, totalling AUD $5.1million, towards cutting edge cancer research equipment and technology. ACRF has also supported cancer research at Garvan Institute of Medical Research, including the Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, with three grants, totalling AUD $6.13million.

The original news post was published on the CCI and Garvan websites.

A taste of hope

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“Ending cancer is one of the paramount issues in health today. Sadly, I have had many close friends who have lost their lives to this terrible disease.

Cancer can affect any one of us – children, the fit and healthy, and the aged alike. It knows no boundaries. We must help to bring it to an end.

Here at Betta Buy Wine we thought it was time to, again, support our friends at the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) to help raise funds for vital cancer research.

When we delved into the history of fundraising we found that many wineries around the world have been involved in raising funds for an assortment of different community causes.

So we decided to source a selection of fantastic wines that are among the top boutique wineries in Australia. And to encourage people to support ACRF, we’ve discounted them. When customers purchase from this range, we will donate $25 from the sale to ACRF.

I have been supporting the ACRF for a number of years because I know that the dollars raised go to where funding is needed the most.

By supporting our wine fundraiser you will receive great value, and at the same time help end cancer. We hope everyone enjoys these magnificent wines and the goodwill feeling that goes along with supporting a worthwhile cause.

I would encourage everyone to get on board and support cancer research in any way they can, because every dollar counts.” Bob Warner, ACRF Corporate Supporter – Betta Buy Wine

Celebrating a special group of people

20150809_104807This week, Volunteering Australia are celebrating all the benefits that volunteers bring to Australia with the theme Give Happy, Live Happy. And we want to take this opportunity to thank all the ACRF volunteers who play a large part in our mission to end cancer.

“There is so much more to volunteering than simply giving your time and skills to help others,” says Brett Williamson, OAM, CEO Volunteering Australia. “This week we say thank you to the six million Australian volunteers and celebrate that they are living healthier, happier and more meaningful lives by volunteering.”

Associate Professor Dr Thomas Nielsen, University of Canberra, says “Volunteering is a core part of the community and plays a critical role in Australian society, and in Australia’s economy. Volunteers form a formidable workforce powering many essential community services and supports.”

This is certainly true at the Australian Cancer Research Foundation. Our volutneers play a vital role and so we are extremely grateful for all that they do. With their help, we can continue to reduce the impact of cancer by funding world-class cancer research.

A special thank you goes out to the individuals that give their support in our office and to the ACRF cheer squad who encourage our runners at marathon events. We are also very appreciative of the amazing Cancerian Committees who host events across the country to raise funds, and to our corporate partners who volunteer their time to and share their professional skills.

Volunteering is a positive and inspiring way to help any cause and your enthusiasm, positivity and a dedication are the only qualifications you need!

If you would like to find out more about how you can volunteer with the ACRF, click here. To register interest for ACRF volunteering opportunities please email info@acrf.com.au or call us on 1300 884 988 to see what is available.

Cancer research develops new drug to enhance cancer treatment

Professor Ruth Ganss courtesy of Harry Perkins Institute of Medical ResearchCancer researchers at the ACRF grant recipient, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research have developed a new drug that could be used to repair blood vessel defects and allow for more targeted and effective cancer treatment delivery.

Current treatments like chemotherapy and immunotherapy can struggle to enter a tumour because the blood vessels that fuel it have become malformed.

Tumours require a lot of nutrients so many times this causes blood vessels to re-direct towards the tumour, leading to abnormalities in the vessels.

The drug that was developed by Woodside Professor Ruth Ganss and her team discovered that smooth muscle cells that line blood vessels to give them shape and help them pump blood often break down in tumours.

Once the smooth muscle cells break down, the blood vessel becomes leaky, reducing blood flow and preventing chemotherapy and immune cells from travelling into the tumour.

Professor Ganss said the new drug works by repairing the smooth muscle cells and returning normal blood flow to the vessels, allowing anti-cancer drugs to reach the tumour’s core.

“To achieve greater absorption of anti-cancer drugs, the blood vessels are really key,” Professor Ganss said. “Helping stem the spread of cancer.”

Professor Ganss said the defect in smooth muscle cells lining blood vessels in cancer could also be a catalyst for the cancer to spread.

“It could be that once the smooth muscle cells break down and the blood vessels become leaky, cancer cells are able to slip out of the tumours and migrate through the bloodstream to spread to different parts of the body.”

“We are currently investigating whether our drug could help stem the spread of cancer in a patient by repairing the leaky blood vessels.”

The original news article was published on the Harry Perkins website.

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has supported Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research by providing two grants, totalling AUD 3.6million, towards cutting edge cancer research equipment and technology.

How will you celebrate this Mother’s Day?

Balloon_MothersDayv2Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and many of us are starting to think about meaningful Mother’s Day gifts. Wouldn’t a world without cancer be the greatest gift of all this Mother’s Day? These three gift ideas will make mum smile and fund research to end cancer.

  • Donate in lieu of a gift
    Many ACRF supporters choose to make an in-celebration donation in lieu of traditional gifts. A Mother’s Day donation is a thoughtful gift idea that will help fund world-class cancer research. And as thanks, we’ll send your mum a lovely card to acknowledge your generous contribution. Click here to make a donation.
  • Purchase an Entertainment book for her
    Get her an Entertainment Book! It’s full of deals on things you could do together. From each book purchased, 20% percent of the sale will go directly to cancer research. Click here to order.
  • Order a Mother’s Day hamper
    Treat your mum to a gorgeous charity hamper filled with luxury products. 10% of proceeds will help scientists advance research into cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. View the hampers here.

Your support will bring new hope to cancer patients and their families around the world. Families like Gemma’s.

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This illness has turned all our lives upside down, and this happens every day to families all over the world. We are determined to help end cancer, and we cannot do this without research.”

We are very grateful to have supporters who choose to mark special occasions such as Mother’s Day by contributing to the fight against cancer. Read more on Gemma’s story here.

I’m still standing

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“Ian and I will have been married for 46 years next month. We have spent very little time apart in those years. We have three adult children and four grandchildren. We both grew up in the country but spent some time in Brisbane before settling in the rural town of D’Aguilar, Queensland.

On Valentine’s Day in 2004, a year after we moved, I found a lump and was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I had to undergo a major operation and travel to the city for daily radium treatments. Not only did cancer have a physical impact on my body, but it also affected me emotionally and financially. For a number of years after, I suffered panic attacks and became a recluse which made it incredibly difficult to work. Six years after my first diagnosis the breast cancer was back.

Thankfully we managed to get through it all together. We never used to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but we do now because I am all clear and have been for six years now.

However, our fight against this disease wasn’t over. A week before Christmas in 2014, Ian went to see the doctor in severe pain and he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The doctors told him that unfortunately there was nothing they could do for him and that he should go home and get his affairs in order and enjoy what time he had left.

After we had got all of our affairs in order, our son suggested we have a “wake” as Ian was always saying how unfair it was that you’re not there to party with your friends and family when you die. So we had a pre-departure wake last year. It was just what we both needed – over 120 people came and it was a fantastic day.

During the day of celebrations, Ian told everyone to save the date for an ‘I’m Still Standing’ celebration in 2016 as he would still be here. And he was right.

Because Ian was keeping well, his doctors did an endless amount of scans, blood tests, and biopsies and discovered that he had a Neuroendocrine Tumour. This is a slow-growing form of pancreatic cancer, but it is still terminal. It has been an endless roller coaster ride of emotions, with a lot of twists and turns, but we are grateful for this extra time to enjoy together.

Cancer is an insidious disease that affects so many people. In the past five years, we’ve lost two brothers-in-law, I very recently lost my brother, and now I’m losing a good friend, and my husband – all to terminal cancer.

I nearly lost Ian at Christmas this year, but the fantastic staff at the Redcliffe Oncology performed a miracle and like Ian had promised, he is still here. My darling Ian is such a fighter, so I have decided to make his “I’m Still Standing” celebration day into a fundraiser for cancer research. I wanted to make a difference and help the dedicated and hardworking researchers bring an end to cancer.

We have been very humbled by the wonderful love and support of family and friends and even strangers. While I have been organising the fundraiser I have been blown away by people’s generosity. Thank you to everyone who has kindly helped this day come together. It’s going to be a fantastic event filled with lots of music, laughter, great prizes and everyone is welcome. We’ll also hold an auction, a cut and colour for cancer and have an open mic for anyone who wants to sing on the day.

I would really encourage others to donate or fundraise for cancer research because you may one day help save someone you love!

I hope that maybe our story will give someone else some comfort in their own struggle with cancer.” ACRF supporter, Carol Robinson

 

The Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove thank ACRF supporters

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Over the years, they have earned a reputation for staging some of the most sought after and glamorous events on the Canberra social calendar, which includes their prestigious annual Gala Dinner. The ACRF is very grateful for the efforts of this incredible group of volunteer fundraisers.

Last week the Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove hosted a reception to recognise the efforts of this committee and thank them for their generous contributions to cancer research over the years. Below you will find his speech.

“On behalf of Lynne and I, I welcome you to Government House. Everyone here knows what a terrible disease cancer is. It kills nearly 50,000 Australians every year.

And we all know someone, a relative or friend, whose life has been deeply affected by it. What we need to do is beat this disease. We often hear the phrase ‘imagine a world without cancer’. Well, wouldn’t that be a great thing? But imagination only goes so far.

A world without cancer can be achieved but it will be achieved through research: world-class research that helps us to better prevent and diagnose cancers and develop new treatments and cures. This is what will beat cancer. This is what will save lives.

This is what drove the ACRF’s founders, Sonia McMahon and Sir Peter Abeles, and it is what lies at the very heart of your work and the work of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

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It is about saying thank you. Thank you for the $121 million in grants provided by the ACRF to hospitals, universities and researchers across Australia. Thank you for helping researchers at the University of Queensland find new ways to detect lung cancer before it gets a chance to spread. Thank you for supporting the John Curtin School of Medical Research to see if our native plants may hold the answers to new cures and treatments.

I could go on and on, but in short it will suffice to say that thanks to supporters like you, the foundation has transformed the scale and scope of cancer research in this country.

So take a moment to be proud of yourselves and all that you do—because what you do is remarkable, it is making a difference and it is appreciated by so many.

You are giving back, you are saving lives and you are part of a wonderful community and a wonderful foundation that is tackling cancer—head on.

And as tough as cancer may be, we’ll beat it, you’ll beat it—because not even cancer is a match for the spirit and determination I see in this room.”- His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd)

Australian melanoma rates improve

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A study found that rates of invasive melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, have started to decline in Australia and are predicted to keep falling over the next 15 years.

Researchers at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute have found that Australia no longer has the highest per capita rates of invasive melanoma in the world, after being overtaken by New Zealand.

Researchers compared the rates of melanoma in six populations over a 30-year period from 1982 to 2011. The six populations were Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, and the caucasian population of the United States.

The researchers found that melanoma rates in Australia increased from about 30 cases per 100,000 people in 1982 and peaked at nearly 49 cases per 100,000 people in 2005. The rates then declined to about 48 cases per 100,000 people in 2011. Invasive melanoma rates in New Zealand reached about 50 cases per 100,000 people in 2011.

Professor David Whiteman, who led the study, said Australia was the only one of the six populations where melanoma rates had begun to fall overall.

“We think the main reason for this decline is that Australia has put a huge effort into primary prevention campaigns since the 1980s,” Professor Whiteman said.

“Australians have become more ‘sun smart’ as they have become more aware of the dangers of melanoma and other skin cancers. Schools, workplaces and childcare centres have also introduced measures to decrease exposure to harmful UV radiation.”

“This has contributed to a decline in melanoma rates in people under the age of about 50.”

“Unfortunately, rates of melanoma are still increasing in people over the age of about 50. This is probably because many older people had already sustained sun damage before the prevention campaigns were introduced, and those melanomas are only appearing now, many decades after the cancer-causing exposure to sunlight occurred.”

Despite the fall in average melanoma rates per 100,000 people, the overall number of invasive melanomas diagnosed in Australia is still rising and is expected to increase from 11,162 cases per year from 2007-2011, to 12,283 cases per year from 2012-2016.

Professor Whiteman said this was due to the ageing of the Australian population, as well as overall population growth.

“Melanomas occur most commonly in older people. As Australia’s population ages, the number of melanomas diagnosed will continue to increase,” he said.

“The picture in Australia at the moment is mixed. While it’s good news that average melanoma rates have started to fall, the fact that the actual number of cases is still rising is bad news.”

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has supported cancer research at QMRI Berghofer by providing three grants, totalling AUD 6.65million towards cutting edge cancer research equipment and technology.

Mark’s eyes are on the finish line

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Discovering the cancer was completely incidental. I had no symptoms or impaired renal function. About eight months ago I was admitted to the hospital with lower bowel pain. The doctors performed a CT scan and found that I had colitis.

They also noticed something that looked like a cyst in my right kidney. They advised me to get it investigated further so a few weeks later I had another scan. The result came back as “consistent with a cystic renal cell carcinoma.” It was in the very centre of my kidney.

It was just two months from when we first saw the mass, to when I underwent surgery to remove my whole kidney. In that time the mass had doubled in size and the final pathology found that it was a grade 2 cystic renal cell carcinoma.

Whilst I have enjoyed a good recovery and my prognosis is very good, there are many people and families who are not so fortunate. We need better diagnosis and treatments to help battle this terrible illness that has struck down so many of our loved ones. To help raise funds for cancer research, I decided to run in the Australian Running Festival’s Canberra Times half marathon.

In 2015, I participated in the half marathon to prove to myself that I could still be healthy and active after a spinal fusion I’d had a few years earlier. This year I’ll be motivated to raise funds for cancer research, not only because of my own battle but for all my family and friends who have battled cancer, many of whom have sadly passed away.

I want to try for a personal best but I have had to make big changes to my training. The biggest being that that I have only had eight weeks to prepare. Prior to that, I was not allowed to do any exercise, as I had to allow the stomach muscles to completely heal. It will make this year’s half marathon very challenging for me but running is not just about the physical activity, it also takes mental endurance.

I hope that we can encourage more people to support cancer research so that the teams of scientists – the unsung heroes in this battle, can achieve breakthroughs that save lives.

Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported me over the past six months as I have recovered and to those who have so generously donated to my page.” – ACRF supporter, Mark Potten.

To support Mark’s fundraising page, click here.

Michelle faces her fears to honour her brother

MichelleACRF supporter Michelle Ross will be facing her fear to help end cancer. “Three years ago, my brother Robbie found out that he had cancer at just 27 years old. His doctors found a large tumour in his leg that had to be surgically removed. Although the surgery left him with permanent nerve damage from his ankle down, he had received the all clear.

Unfortunately, his battle was not over. Two years later he began having back troubles and a scan revealed that cancer had returned. This time, it was in his shoulders, his femurs, his lower back and his chest. He fought through a major shoulder replacement which resulted in the loss of almost all movement in his arm. This was followed by months of radiation and chemotherapy treatment.

Last year, just before Christmas, we received the good news that he was again in remission.

Watching my brother go through this had really touched my heart. It was amazing to see all the support the hard working nurses and doctors gave Robbie. So to say thank you, I decided to help raise funds for cancer research.

Robbie has been facing what would be anyone’s worst fear. In honour of his courage, I wanted to attempt to face one of my fears and jump out of a plane at 15,000 feet. I signed up to the Australian Cancer Research Foundation’s JUMP! tandem skydiving program.

Since I’ve signed up, Robbie’s health has worsened. He started having back pain again and after a recent scan, doctors found that the cancer had returned for a third time in the vertebras of his lower back and he’s had to undergo more chemotherapy.

Two weeks ago his legs gave way and he had a fall. The cancer has paralysed him from his belly button down and he can no longer walk.

My family has come together with so much strength and love to support my brother through this hard time. Robbie is now in a wheelchair full-time and my parents have moved in to care for him at his home in Sydney.

I want to help find a cure for families in the future. No one should have to go through what my brother and so many people are going through.

I am so thankful for the amazing fundraising support that I have received from my friends and even strangers. Too many people you talk to in the street, know a family member or friend going through cancer and I hope that one day we end cancer once and for all.” ACRF supporter, Michelle Ross

To support Michelle visit: https://jump.everydayhero.com/au/michelle 

New Sydney cancer research centre looks into metabolic causes of cancer

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research Grants, cancer scientists, Centenary Institute, charity foundation, Charles Perkins Centre, current cancer research, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, give to charity, Phillip Hogg, Professor Philip Hogg, Sydney, Sydney Catalyst, Types of cancer, University of SydneyThe Centenary Institute, in partnership with the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) and Sydney Catalyst, today opened the new ACRF Centenary Cancer Research Centre at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre in Camperdown.

The new centre will focus on two key specialist areas of cancer research – understanding the inflammatory and metabolic causes of cancer and the drivers behind cancer-driven blood clotting.

By investigating these two areas, the research team hopes to unveil how changes in metabolism support cancer growth and how these changes can be controlled by new treatments and therapies.

The ACRF Centenary Cancer Research Centre will be headed by Professor Philip Hogg, a world-renowned researcher whose expertise lies in the discovery of new cancer-active drugs and therapies. The centre will host a team of over 40 dedicated cancer researchers whose capability spans fundamental research to clinical trials.

“I would like to thank ACRF and their supporters for funding the new centre. It will significantly expand the Centenary Institute’s capabilities in cancer research and accelerate the development of new treatments for cancer patients,” said Professor Hogg. “Having this new facility has also helped us attract a brilliant team that includes some of the world’s leading scientific minds.”

ACRF’s CEO, Dr Ian Brown said, “Supporters of ACRF helped lay the foundation for this centre, a centre that will help the team at Centenary reveal key information that will help inform better cancer treatments which is an exciting step forward.”

The new centre is located within the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre and is the first dedicated cancer research centre in the Royal Prince Alfred (RPA) Hospital and The University of Sydney Precinct.

The establishment has been a collaborative effort lead by the Centenary Institute and included the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, Sydney Catalyst, Sydney University, the Charles Perkins Centre, RPA Hospital and Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

Image from left: ACRF Chairman Mr Tom S Dery AO, NSW Minister for Medical Research, The Hon. Pru Goward, MP, Centre Director Professor Philip Hogg and Executive Director Mathew Vadas AO.

Jake takes on Mt Aspiring for cancer research

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research Grants, cancer scientists, Challenge, charity challenge, charity foundation, corporate giving, current cancer research, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, give to charity, charity adventure, trekking adventureACRF supporter, Jake Hesson, has first-hand experience of the devastating effect of cancer on families. He recently embarked on a unique fundraising challenge to raise funds for a cause close to his heart.

“Almost all of us, at some point in time, will be touched by cancer. Over the past 2 years, this disease has significantly affected a number of my family members, as well as my friends and their families. I recently lost two uncles and an aunt to cancer and now my father is also undergoing treatment for thyroid cancer.

I became inspired by the work of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation and wanted to help make a difference for families suffering from cancer. My brother is a cancer researcher so I know just how important charitable grants, like the ACRF grants, are to the scientific community.

I chose to combine my love of alpine mountaineering with fundraising and decided to take on New Zealand’s Mt Aspiring. Not only is this mountain one of the most beautiful in the world, it was also going to be a very physical challenge.

I’ve been climbing since 2012 and have done a number of trekking trips. However, I had never climbed anything as technically difficult as this and certainly nothing quite as exposed! I did the trip with just one very experienced (and very patient) guide.

The highlight of my trip was definitely the isolation, absolute silence and beauty of the mountains. One night I woke up at 3:30 am and when I stepped out of the tent I looked at the summit and the Milky Way.  It was all brighter than I had ever seen. It seemed to be coming directly from the top of the mountain.

My advice to others thinking about supporting cancer research is to just do it! It doesn’t matter how you are planning to raise funds, the important thing is to try. Every donation contributes to advancements in cancer research and the sense of achievement and pride you will feel is really worth it.

I’d like to make a special note of gratitude to my employer, QBE (Australia) and the QBE Foundation for matching the sums I raised and donating almost $3,000 directly to ACRF.” – Jake Hesson, ACRF supporter.

Thank you to Jake and QBE for their generous contributions to cancer research. Corporate Matching Schemes are a great way for you make the most of your fundraising efforts. If you have been involved in a fundraising event for ACRF, it could be worth asking your employer if they offer a Corporate Matching Scheme.

Shave to Save supports cancer research

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Challenge, charity challenge, charity foundation, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, Types of cancer, End cancer, Head shave, head shave for cancer research, shave for the cure, shave for cancer, had shave for cancer, shave for cancer researchYoung Western Australian siblings, Prem and Mansi Aghera, together with their friends, Amee Bhuva and Ravi Ghodasara, raised over $6,000 for cancer research. We spoke to Prem about their amazing ‘Shave to Save’ fundraiser.

“My sister, Mansi was affected by cancer some time ago, so cancer research is a cause close to home. Mansi wanted this fundraiser to be a tribute to those who aren’t as lucky as her and to help researchers bring an end cancer. We know first-hand how cancer affects patients and their families and we wanted to help prevent more families from going through what we had to.

Apart from raising money, we also thought it was equally important to show solidarity with current cancer patients. We know that sometimes patients who lose their hair feel embarrassed and try to cover up. We hoped that by shaving our heads and proudly strutting around with our new looks that we could encourage people going through treatment to feel confident, with or without hair.

We wanted to spread awareness of the importance of cancer research and get as many people involved as possible. By choosing to shave our head we attracted a lot of interest in our community.

The ‘Shave to Save’ fundraiser was our way of showing everyone who is battling this disease that our community is standing with them – and we were overwhelmed by the support. Honestly, I don’t know why we didn’t do this sooner! We are truly humbled by the incredible support we’ve received over the past few months and we hope we’ve made a positive impact.

We chose to support the ACRF because the main aim of the foundation is to eradicate cancer altogether, and that’s our ultimate aim too. While there is a long road ahead, we have seen the impact a small fundraiser can have.

I believe that if people unite together we will continue to get closer to a future without cancer.” – ACRF supporter, Prem Aghera

FDC conquered the Rottnest Island Swim for Cancer Research

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Challenge, charity challenge, charity foundation, corporate giving, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, Fundraising Stories, fundraising, give to charity, Types of cancer, Rottnest Channel Swim, Rottnest Island, The Rottnest Channel SwimThank you to our corporate supporters, FDC! A team from the Western Australian construction business took on the 19km Rottnest Swim challenge late last month.

Their swimmers – Mark, Monique, Sveta and April along with support crew Ed, Jason and John were all very excited to be fundraising for a cause close to their hearts.

“A number of people in our office have recently been touched by different types of cancer. So we chose to compete in this challenge to support the Australian Cancer Research Foundation because they are committed to ending all types of cancer.

We received wonderful support from our work colleagues, friends, families and extended community. We encouraged everyone we knew to get behind our team and help us reach our target by donating their spare change or coffee money to cancer research. Together we were able to raise close to $3,000 for a charity we value so highly.

The highlights on the day were all of us working together and having a laugh, everyone was very supportive – team members and competitors alike. This made our experience very enjoyable and we have been talking about doing the race again next year.

Most of us know someone that is either fighting cancer or has been directly affected by it in one way or another. With the shocking stats out there we are proud that we could do our bit to help researchers find a cure for all cancers.” – ACRF supporter, April Moir

To support the team, visit their everyday hero page.

Photo supplied by Aussies in Action.

A motorcycle trek in memory of two great men

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Challenge, charity challenge, charity foundation, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, give to charity, leukaemia, Types of cancer, Motorcycle challengeACRF supporter, Daniel Kranz is a 36-year-old father of two. He lives with his wife, Hannah, in Tinonee. In addition to recently starting his own skateboard manufacturing business, he is also busy planning an epic postie trek to honour two special men whom he lost to cancer.

“The Jindaboonda Postie Trek is a motorcycle ride of over 3,000km to raise funds for cancer research in memory of Dennis Jeffers (Jindaboonda). Last year pancreatic cancer took this awesome husband, father, son, grandfather, uncle and mate away from us. And what’s worse is Den wasn’t the first person I’ve lost to cancer. In 2001, I lost my Grandad, Murray Kranz, to leukaemia.

Den and I were always trying to organise a ride together but unfortunately that never happened.

Losing him so suddenly left our family utterly shell-shocked. I wanted to make something positive out of something so negative and organise this epic ride to celebrate the memory of him, my Grandad and everyone else who is afflicted by cancer. And what better way to help a family heal, than to get everyone together doing something these men loved, and in the process raise funds to help fight the disease that took them away.

A love of motorcycling wasn’t the only similarity between Den and Murray. They were both devoted family men who were respected and adored by everyone that knew them. We are told time and again by numerous people how positive their impact was on the community and how dearly missed they are. They were fine examples of how to be a good human being.

Both men were also very passionate about their careers. Den was an ecologist and ‘Jindaboonda’ was the name given to him by the members of the Biripi community after he worked with them extensively, teaching them about native plant seed propagation and bush regeneration.

Murray was a mechanic and in his retirement he restored several old 40s and 50s motorcycles. I guess once motorcycling is in your blood – you’re hooked for life. Anyone who rides a motorcycle will agree with me that it’s about as close to complete freedom as you can get.

Over 20 riders have registered for the trek so far. A large crew of extended family and close friends will also be following in support vehicles. I think all those postie bikes riding in group formation through town should get quite a lot of attention for the cause!

We’ve even had a few people who obtained their licences just to take part in the trek. One such rider is Emma. She lost her mum to cancer three and half years ago, and there was no way she was missing out on doing the ride.

We chose to support the Australian Cancer Research Foundation because it was important to us that we raise funds for an organisation that contributes to the research of all forms of cancer. When we approached the ACRF, they were so helpful and assisted me to get the ball rolling. It’s been a positive experience right from the start.

We’re all working hard to fundraise as much as we can in the memory our loved ones, and in the process, we’re having an adventure and healing together.

Thank you to all the participants, to everyone who has donated and sponsored us, and to all those who have helped us out so far.” – Daniel Kranz, ACRF supporter.

To support the Jindaboonda Postie Trek, click here.

 

Entertainment Books are now available for order through ACRF

entertainment book, cancer research, deals, charity, donationsEntertainment Books are a great way to make the most of what is happening in your local community. They offer hundreds of discounts and 2-for-1 vouchers from the finest restaurants, cafés, attractions, and accommodation.

And best of all, when you order the Entertainment Book through ACRF you’ll also be investing in better cancer diagnosis, treatments and prevention methods.

From each book purchased, 20% of profits will fund world-class cancer research, helping Australia’s best scientists speed up progress in cancer research. Find out more about the work they do here.

The Entertainment Book now has two options to choose from – the traditional hard copy book and a new digital membership. Each membership gives you over $20,000 worth of valuable offers valid through to 1 June 2017.

With the digital version of the Entertainment Book, it’s even easier to find restaurants and attractions near you. The hard copy book will be available for pick up in April from the ACRF office which is conveniently located in the heart of Sydney.

“The book gave us hundreds of ideas on places to see and eat. We saved heaps on trips as well, it’s just fantastic!” Michelle E., Sydney

Place your order and help bring us closer to a world without cancer.

Melbourne researchers trial new leukaemia treatment

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research Grants, cancer scientists, charity challenge, charity foundation, current cancer research, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Types of cancer, leukaemiaIn a world-first clinical trial, Melbourne medical researchers have shown that patients with an advanced form of leukaemia can achieve complete remission with a new tablet treatment.The trials were conducted at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, in collaboration with the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, as well as trial sites in the US.

Clinical trials of the potent new anti-cancer drug Venetoclax showed it was effective in killing cancer cells in people with advanced forms of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) when conventional treatment options had been exhausted.

Seventy-nine percent of those involved in the trial had promising responses to the new therapy – including twenty percent who went into a complete remission. A small number of patients had such a profound response that even very sensitive tests were unable to detect any remaining leukaemia in their bodies.

CLL is one of the most common forms of leukaemia, with around 1,000 people diagnosed with this type of cancer in Australia every year. More than 350,000 people were estimated to have been diagnosed with leukaemia in 2012 worldwide, with incidence rates varying across the world.

The drug has been granted priority review status by the US Federal Drug Agency (FDA) for treating some types of CLL. The designation is granted to medicines that the FDA has determined to have the potential to provide significant improvements in the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of a disease.

Venetoclax was developed based on a landmark discovery made in the 1980s by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute scientists that a protein called BCL-2 promoted cancer cell survival. Venetoclax was co-developed for clinical use by US pharmaceutical companies AbbVie and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, and was discovered as part of a joint research collaboration that involved Walter and Eliza Hall Institute scientists.

Professor Andrew Roberts, a clinical haematologist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and cancer researcher at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, said the drug works very specifically by overcoming the action of BCL-2.

“Most trial patients responded positively to the therapy, showing substantial reductions in the number of leukaemia cells in their body. Many patients have maintained this response more than a year after their treatment began, and some patients remain in remission more than four years on,” Professor Roberts said.

“High levels of BCL-2 protect the leukaemia cells from dying, so leukaemia cells can grow and become resistant to standard treatments. Venetoclax selectively targets the interaction responsible for keeping the leukaemia cells alive and, in many cases, we’ve seen the cancerous cells simply melt away.”

Professor John Seymour, Chair of the Haematology Service at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre says, “The fact that a targeted drug, given on its own, can produce such a profound reduction in the leukaemia burden in the patient, to the point we cannot find leukaemia cells even with our best tests, underscores what a powerful strategy targeting the BCL-2 gene is.”

These results set the foundation for building towards the dream of a cure for CLL. Phase 2 and phase 3 studies are currently being undertaken to test Venetoclax across a range of blood cancers globally, including at many sites in Australia.

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has supported cancer research at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre by providing three major grants to both institutions, totalling AUD 12.5m.

This news was first published on the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre website.

Cancer research uncovers promising new cancer drug

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research Grants, cancer scientists, charity foundation, current cancer research, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Walter and Eliza Hall InstituteCancer researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne have uncovered how nutlins, a type of small molecule inhibitor, contribute to cancer cell death. Until now, it was unknown whether nutlins were killing cancerous cells or suppressing them temporarily.

In early clinical trials for treating blood cancers, Dr Liz Valente, Dr Brandon Aubrey, Professor Andreas Strasser and team discovered that nutlins are able to stop cancer growth by activating the body’s natural cancer-suppressing mechanism. They stimulate a gene called P53 to trigger programmed cell death of blood cancer cells while avoiding some of the damaging effects of chemotherapy.

Dr Aubrey, who is also a clinical haematologist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, said the discovery reinforced that nutlins were a promising new treatment for blood cancer. They also provided invaluable information for a more personalised approach to patient care.

“Our findings will help identify which patients are most likely to benefit from nutlins and which types of cancers are most likely to respond to nutlins as a treatment,” Dr Aubrey said.

“Understanding in detail how the drugs work will help in the design of better clinical trials and bring the world closer to more precise and personalised medical treatments for cancer.”

Professor Strasser said previous research around P53 showed that one of the properties of the gene was to protect the healthy cells in the body. The gene has been identified as a major barrier to developing cancer.

“Without the ‘help’ of P53, a damaged cell can be allowed to multiply, leading to cancer development. P53 lies dormant in many types of cancer – that do not have mutations in P53 – and the nutlins work through re-awakening its activity.”

Professor Strasser said knowing more about what nutlins were capable of was a critical step towards developing more refined treatments for cancer.

“By understanding how nutlins are killing cancer cells, we can begin to formulate their best possible use, including choosing the best partner drugs to combine the nutlins with,” Professor Strasser said.

The research has been published in the journal Cell Reports. To view the original news article was published on the WEHI website, click here.

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has supported WEHI by providing three grants, totalling AUD 5.5million towards cutting edge cancer research equipment and technology.

What research did for breast cancer patient, Shona

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, Breast Cancer, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, cancer fun run, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Challenge, charity challenge, charity foundation, current cancer research, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, Running for Cancer Research, Canberra, Canberra Times Australian Running Festival“My name is Shona. I’m a mother of two young girls, aged 6 and 10, and a police officer from Canberra. In November last year, a week after my 39th birthday, I discovered a lump in my left breast.

I had never been diligent about self-checking. I always thought I was too young to contemplate breast cancer but I had a feeling that this lump hadn’t been there before. I reluctantly went to see my GP in the hope she would tell me it was nothing to worry about – she didn’t.

She sent me in for testing and two days later I was booked in for an ultrasound and biopsy. The results came back the following day and I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma.

The next few days were all a whirlwind and it felt like my feet didn’t touch the ground. I was quickly referred to a breast cancer surgeon and put in contact with a breast care nurse at Calvary Hospital.

Within two weeks of my diagnosis, I underwent a mastectomy. I will be forever grateful that my lymph nodes were clear and I was sent home from the hospital three days later. I recovered from the operation with absolutely no complications and was able to return to work a few weeks later.

My medical team suggested that I have Oncotype DX testing to determine what treatment plan I would need. I only realised how important this testing was when the results came back and showed I wouldn’t have to undergo chemotherapy. Without the testing, my oncologist would have recommended chemotherapy. I am undergoing endocrine therapy, which is not without side effects, but thankfully they are minimal. Which means that I’ll be well enough to run in the Australian Running Festival half marathon in April to raise funds for cancer research.

I have now been given the all clear and I consider myself very lucky. Sadly I lost my grandmother to bowel cancer and two amazing women in my extended family to breast cancer. I am the first woman in my immediate family to undergo treatment for breast cancer and I never want to see my sisters or daughters go through what I had to.

I’m astounded by the overwhelming support I have received from my family, friends and especially my colleagues. I am so proud of my fellow brothers and sisters in blue, their generous donations have contributed to over 90% of my current fundraising total. We really try to support each other during the tough times – they are my extended family and I love them all.

I will carry scars into the future as a testament to my battle but I am determined to not let cancer kill me. I have two amazing and beautiful daughters that need their mum and I am supported by the most incredible man I call my husband. This has been a tough time for me and my family but I am thankful that I am one of the lucky ones.

Early detection and superb medical intervention means I will survive. I hope that by sharing my story I can make people aware of the importance of early detection and self-breast checks, and help raise funds for cancer research.” – ACRF supporter, Shona Davis.

Click here to support Shona’s Canberra Times Half Marathon.

Share your story

 

Barbas & Zacári – Your time is valuable

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, charity foundation, corporate giving, donate to charity, regular giving, Corporate donations to charity, corporate charity donation, corporate charity donations, workplace giving

ACRF corporate supporters, Tas Zacári and Emmanuel Barbas are two young entrepreneurial designers from Melbourne.

They recently established a new watch brand, Barbas & Zacári which caters to those with a passion for minimalist style and gives customers an opportunity to contribute to the fight against cancer with every purchase.

“To give back to a good cause and to do what we can to help, we decided to donate $5 (AUD) to the Australian Cancer Research Foundation for every watch sold.

We are extremely proud to be supporters of cancer research and we can’t thank our customers enough for their support thus far. We are really excited to see what we can do in 2016,” said the founders.

The brand promotes their watches alongside the hashtag #yourtimeisvaluable, to highlight the importance of cancer research and recognise that every hour we spend on this earth is valuable to each individual.

“We think it’s marvellous that designers and young entrepreneurs are doing what they can to help us fund research into the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of all types of cancers,” said ACRF’s CEO Professor Ian Brown.

Their first collection, released in December, offers five styles of contemporary and fashionable unisex watches that suit any occasion. For more information on Barbas & Zacári or to purchase one of these great time pieces, click here.

Basia and Gary’s Story

Basia&GaryFamily“I was pacing the lounge room floor feeding Grayce when I heard a car door slam out the front. Just for a second, I thought he’d come home, that he had been out for dinner with the boys, that the last six months had disappeared.

It felt nice, for one second, like it used to be. I hope there are other fleeting moments like that. Because just for a second, I was in that other life and I remembered how it felt to be happy.

I lost my husband, Gary, to oesophageal cancer 19 days after we were married. Our third child, Grayce, was born four weeks later.

Though our time together was short we managed to fit a lot of life into those years. We also had lots of quiet moments, just enjoying spending time with each other.

He was very hands-on around the house and with the children. There was nothing he loved more than to potter around on the weekends doing the jobs he had listed during the week, fixing things and finding better ways of doing things and then we would have our coffee mid-morning sitting in the backyard.

We would email each other every day at work – just a few words here and there, or an interesting article. I miss all the little things that made our lives so much fun. The touch of his skin, a thousand gestures.

Gary’s battle with cancer started on the 2nd of July and lasted for twelve and a half weeks. As the cancer ate away at Gary, I thought he looked more beautiful. His spirit, grace and dignity shone through more with each passing day.

He was the perfect patient. He never complained and would try and help me help him as much as possible, even trying to lift and move his legs with his hands, and I would tell him off each time.

That’s why we decided to call our daughter Grayce with a ‘y’ – grace for how much of it shone through him during this battle. The four letters of Gary’s name are carried on in the name of his daughter.

That was his next goal, and what he told the doctors at his last oncology appointment. He wanted to meet his daughter.

In the end I couldn’t ask it of him. I knew he could hear everything I was saying. I lay down on the bed next to him and put his right hand on top of my belly. I told him I loved him so. I said, ‘I don’t want to let you go but I have to. It’s time for you to go.’

He opened his eyes and deliberately blinked at me for the first time in hours. Then he took two more breaths and went.

I still cannot bring myself to stretch out across the whole bed. It will mean finally admitting to myself that he won’t be riding his bike home and pushing it through the open door. That he won’t be bending down to hug the kids as they come running to greet him, squealing with delight. I know those things cannot happen but I still see them. I wish them. I live them in my head.

They say memories are golden. Well maybe that’s true, but I never wanted memories, I only wanted you.” – ACRF Supporter, Basia

We can’t bring Basia’s husband back to her but we can stand beside her while she continues to battle cancer through supporting research. To help her in her mission to protect others from having to go through what she went through click below.

DONATE NOW

 

Cancer research to improve radiotherapy treatment

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research Grants, cancer scientists, charity foundation, donate to charity, current cancer research, Fighting cancer, Fundraising StoriesThe radiotherapy research team at Ingham Institute is one of only three research teams in the world to develop a new technological concept and design to improve targeted radiotherapy.

The technology, called MRI-Linac, combines an MRI magnet with a Linac Accelerator (a radiation cancer treatment machine) to improve the accuracy and precision of radiotherapy treatment for cancer.

Radiotherapy is a mode of cancer treatment that uses a Linear Accelerator to produce X-rays that kill or damage tumours to stop them from growing. However, in doing this, the radiation process may also damage normal tissue in the way of the radiation beam during the treatment. Improving the accuracy of treatment will result in better treatment outcomes and fewer side effects for cancer patients.

Until now the MRI and the Linac have worked separately. By joining them together as the MRI-Linac, the Ingham Institute has a system that enables a real-time view of tumours that stretches way beyond basic anatomy, including the chemical structure of tumours and normal tissues. The unique design of the system gives Ingham Institute scientists and cancer researchers the ability to position the treatment or radiation beam in two different arrangements which will improve accuracy further.

“Radiation treatments for cancer must take into account changes that can occur to the location and shape of tumours, which move as a result of breathing, swallowing and other normal body changes. This is where the strength of the MRI-Linac system comes into play, as it is the only system that will enable us to target the tumour with the radiation beam much more accurately in real-time and have control over the radiation dose,” said Associate Professor Gary Liney, Senior MRI Physicist at the Ingham Institute.

In 2014, the Australian Cancer Research Foundation provided a grant of AUD 2.5 million for the creation of The ACRF Image-X Institute at the Ingham Institute. The research is in its early days and the clinical applications of the new treatment are 5-10 years away.

A little girl with big dreams

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At only seven years old, Leah Paterson is one of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation’s youngest supporters. She’s been working to raise funds for cancer research in honour of her great-grandmother who is currently undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Leah has earned a place as a finalist in the Junior Miss Diamond Australia 2016 pageant. The contest encourages participants to be part of a cause that helps others and teaches them how to fundraise for charity.

As part of her quest to gain the title, Leah is required to represent her local area and choose a charity to partner with. Leah chose to support cancer research through the ACRF as her family has been touched by the horrible disease twice in the past few years.

“My great-grandmother has been going through treatment for pancreatic cancer. And my mum also lost her uncle a few years ago to the same cancer. I am raising money so researchers can help fix people like my great-grandma by finding stronger ways to fight cancer,” said Leah.

Leah is hoping to raise close to $2,000 before the pageant grand final in April. To help reach her target she been raising awareness about cancer research by doing various fundraising activities throughout her school and community.

Leah’s mother and great-grandmother are very proud of Leah’s commitment to a cause so close to their hearts. “This contest is different to typical pageant competitions, it focuses on promoting community values and helps teach children that there is so much more to beauty than physical appearance,” said Leah’s mother, Sara.

 

Lee Bektash is on the fast-track to end cancer

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Lee Bektash is a Victorian drag racing driver for Team Mopar and he’s put his support behind the Australian Cancer Research Foundation. The Pro-Stock Star and his team donated their prize money from last week’s race at Calder Park to help fast-track better treatments and detection for cancer.

Lee achieved the top speed of the Pro Stock Race, reaching an incredible 200.65 mph (323 km/h).

“This is something that I have wanted to do for a little while. I lost my first cousin to cancer six months ago and our family had also lost another relative to cancer just last year.

Cancer affects everyone and we want to be a part of helping to find cures so that as few families as possible are affected like we have been. The cures are out there, we just need to find them!

We decided to support the Australian Cancer Research Foundation because it is a private organisation, relying on the power of the community in order to provide Australia’s best cancer research teams with the technologies and facilities they need to fast-track discoveries.

I’ve been so proud of our team’s efforts over the last few seasons, we’ve had good results because of the support we’ve received. Our weekend at Calder Park gave us a great opportunity to put some money to good use – and there is no better cause than this!

The ACRF funds and supports the analysis and testing of new treatment, diagnostic and preventative measures for all types of cancer. It keeps Australian scientists at the forefront of medical research and brings us ever closer to the cures.

This is a privilege for the Team Mopar Australia crew, we put everything into our races in the hope that we can give something back!”

A big thank you to Lee and the team for their generous support!

 

Toby’s Beard Shave for Cancer Research

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Challenge, charity challenge, charity foundation, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, Types of cancer, shave for the cure, be brave and shave, shave my hair for cancer, head shave for cancer research“My name is Toby and I’m 29. I was diagnosed with rectal cancer in October 2014. Prior to my diagnosis, I was a very active and healthy person – I enjoyed running and hitting the gym, I never smoked and drank only on occasion. There was also no history of rectal cancer in my family – so the diagnosis came as quite a shock.

Since then I have received multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, as well as some major operations so doctors could remove the cancer, create a temporary ileostomy, and then reverse it.

I’m currently recovering from the reversal surgery and getting used to my new “plumbing.” I will still need to go to follow-up appointments every three months or so but fortunately I was given the all clear late last year.

A couple of months before I was diagnosed I started growing a beard. Once everybody got over the initial shock of my diagnosis, questions began turning to my beard and when I was going to shave it.

My beard had become a comfort for me through all of this, so if I was going to shave – it had to be for a good reason! I started thinking about the idea of shaving it off for charity and because I received so much support, I felt that I should do something to give back.

Cancer is too common and this has become even more obvious since I was diagnosed. Almost everyone I meet has a story of someone close to them who has been affected by cancer. I feel like I am one of the lucky ones and I wanted something good to come from my experience.

On Australia day, I’ll be holding a celebration and shaving ceremony at our local bowls club. I’ll be putting on a big barbeque to say thank you to all my friends and family who supported me and donated to my cause. I’ll also be raffling off some great prizes from generous local businesses, as well as the honour of who will get to make the first cut of the shave!

I really hope that someday, no one will have to go through what I and so many others have been through. Finding a cure or a gentler form of treatment is the ultimate goal and that is why I decided to support the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

Every little bit helps to bring us closer to finding a cure or developing better treatments that will make it easier on those diagnosed, and their family.” – ACRF Supporter, Toby Stodart.

To support Toby’s Beard Shave for Cancer, click here.

Scanning centre to transform disease research

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research Grants, cancer scientists, charity foundation, current cancer research, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, fundraising, QIMRThe diagnosis and treatment of cancers, mental health disorders and conditions such as dementia is set to reach new heights in Brisbane with the launch of a $24 million facility that combines state-of-the-art equipment with world-class research and clinical expertise.

The Herston Imaging Research Facility has officially been launched by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Facility Medical Director Dr Liz Kenny said the new centre was one of the most exciting clinical imagery ventures in the Asia Pacific.

“It will become the centre of clinical research in Queensland through the use of cutting-edge imaging equipment and will contribute to the understanding of diseases and the development of new drugs and treatment therapies,” she said.

Dr Kenny, who is also the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital’s senior radiation oncologist, said the facility featured hybrid scanners which combined magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT), allowing molecular processes and anatomical images to be captured simultaneously.

“This results in a faster and more efficient process for researchers, clinicians and patients,” she said.

The facility is a collaboration between The University of Queensland, the Metro North Hospital and Health Service, the Queensland University of Technology and the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, with Siemens as an industry supporter.

University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Hoj said the infrastructure made Queensland a better environment for the development of new patient treatments.

“It will add value to other recent partnership developments like the Queensland-Emory Drug Discovery Initiative and the Centre for Advanced Imaging, and give Queensland innovators a sharper edge in the global race for new preventions, treatments and cures,” he said.

Australian Cancer Research Foundation Chairman, Mr Tom Dery, said the facility would help Queensland’s world-class cancer scientists pursue important cancer research discoveries.

“The future of cancer prevention and treatments depends on Australia’s best researchers having access to the cutting-edge resources and technologies such as these,” he said.

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute mental health and complex disorders leader Professor Michael Breakspear said the imaging facility would enable work to begin to categorise and discover different subtypes of mental health disorders.

“We’re exploring ways to diagnose mental health disorders before the symptoms appear,” he said.

“To do this, we need to develop new diagnostic tests using medical imaging technology.”

QUT Faculty of Health Assistant Dean (Research) and Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation Deputy Director Professor Greig De Zubicaray said the scanning capability of the new facility would contribute to understanding of the function and structure of diseases such as cancer and stroke.

“With this imaging technology we can detect disease, we can monitor progress and we can see whether or not we can predict recovery,” he said.

The Herston Imaging Research Facility is on the Herston health campus, near the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and major medical research facilities.

I’m a walking testimony to cancer research

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, charity foundation, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, Types of cancer, cancer scientistsPamela Kirby supports cancer research because she has seen the life-saving benefits first-hand.

“My cancer journey started in September 2010. I was first diagnosed with bowel cancer and an operation was quickly scheduled for November. It was during my treatment process that I was also diagnosed with stage 1 primary lung cancer.

Within a few weeks I was back in surgery for a major lung cancer operation. That was the hardest to recover from and it was followed by four and a half months of chemotherapy treatment.

Unfortunately, the bad news continued and in 2013 three more lesions were discovered on my lung. By May 2014 I had suffered a major seizure and my doctors told me I had developed secondary brain cancer that spread from my lungs.

Cancer has been a challenge from day one, but it has been really empowering to fight this battle and I believe I am much stronger now. After five years of intensive treatment and lengthy hospital stays, the prognosis is looking good for me and I’m feeling much better.

I am so thankful for my highly skilled oncologist Dr Nick Pavalakis and his team. Using the treatment options and testing resources cancer research has made available to them, they were able to learn more about my cancer, find out which treatments would work best for me and help manage some of the unbearable side-effects.

From my experience I learned just how vital cancer research was and how significantly it impacts current patient treatments. I’m a walking testimony to the progress researchers are making.

Whilst undergoing treatment I wanted to inspire others affected by cancer and show them that they have the strength to fight through this battle too. I decided to organise a fundraising event to help contribute towards cancer research.

I held a Ladies Night Out at our local bowling club. It was a great evening of tequila tasting, 60’s music, a fashion parade, raffles, candle demonstrations and an auction. I’m really proud that we were able to raise close to $4000 for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

My health has greatly improved and we’re now looking forward to the future and a special holiday in Hawaii in just a few weeks. I still need to get scans every three months, which are stressful as waiting for the results is always a torment. But I believe remaining positive has really helped me on this journey and I am thankful to have been supported by my wonderful friends and family and a highly skilled medical team. Every new day I get to spend with my amazing husband Brian, our kids and grandkids is sheer joy.” – Pamela Kirby, ACRF Supporter

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Pedalling for cancer research in memory of Penny

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Kirsten, Amber, Angie and Rachel

 

In May 2015 ACRF supporter, Kirsten lost her mother, Penny, after a two-year battle with lung cancer. To honour Penny, Kirsten and her good friend Rachel began planning a garden party to support cancer research. When her friend Angie received the invitation, she put her hand up to help with the fundraising efforts.

“Kirsten absolutely adored her Mum and it has been a difficult time for her and her family. As soon as I heard about the fundraiser I wanted to do my part to help, so I decided to hold an epic 24-hour spin challenge,” said Angie.

“I got to work organising my ‘Pedalling for Penny’ event. The local community really got behind me. I received such generous support from my local 24-hour gym and many local businesses that each sponsored a one-hour block of my ride or donated their services.

From 10 am on Saturday 7th November to 10 am on Sunday 8th November I cycled continuously around the clock. In that time, I accomplished the equivalent distance of riding from the Sunshine Coast to Newcastle.

I love being active and I’m very social, so it was very mentally challenging for me to be seated in one place for such a long time – I am very thankful I had so much wonderful support around me the whole time. It melted my heart to have my husband, my sons and friends there cheering me on. And it was great to see my community come out to support me too! Other gym members and sponsors cycled alongside me for an hour and shared their stories of loved ones who had been affected by cancer. Even the police stopped by to visit and make sure I was doing okay.

It was an honour to ride for Penny and to support Kirsten and her family. Penny was the most beautiful person filled with an enormous amount of love and I felt her by my side throughout this journey.

Sadly so many people are touched by cancer, and as a registered nurse I often see the awful effect it has on patients and their families. I am so proud that I was able to do this challenge and raise funds for cancer research to help put an end to this awful disease.”

Kirsten along with her good friends Rachel and Angie have raised a total of $6,698.50 for cancer research.

To support Angie, click here.

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Young cyclist takes on Mount Kosciuszko for cancer research

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ACRF supporter, Ben Coulter is a 19-year-old cycling enthusiast from Cairns. In October, he successfully rode solo and unsupported from Melbourne all the way to Sydney via Mount Kosciuszko to support cancer research.

“I wanted to give something back to the community and, because cancer impacts so many lives, I decided to raise funds for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

I’m very passionate about road cycling and mountain biking. I love riding because it’s such a good release. I’ve been working professionally in the biking industry for around three years now and I really enjoy it.

Over the 16-day journey, I covered around 1,700 kilometres and climbed over 24,000 vertical meters! I chose the route via Mount Kosciuszko because it was a huge challenge. It was mostly steep climbs and I thought the harder, the better, as I knew it was going to be the most rewarding for me to achieve.

In the past, I’ve completed a few other big rides including the 720 kilometre Cairns to Karumba and the 320 kilometre Cairns to Cooktown. However these rides were all supported and we rode in groups. The Sydney to Melbourne challenge was my first solo, unsupported journey and I plan on doing many more.

My favourite areas along the way were probably Corryong or Marysville in Victoria – I love the beautiful, crisp alpine environment and the scenery made for a great ride. One of the most memorable highlights from my trip included cycling the mountain ranges around the Tolmie area. It was such a great feeling making the climb to the top of the Dead Horse Gap just outside of Thredbo and cycling to the top of Mount Kosciuszko.

I would highly recommend doing a solo charity ride. If you’re thinking about taking on any charity challenge for the ACRF, my advice is to make sure you’re prepared and then give it all you’ve got! Embrace the challenge and when it gets tough, remember why you are doing it.”

Click here to support Ben.

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Cancer Research Saved My Parents

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Targeted laser treatments for breast cancer and early diagnostic tests for bowel cancer gave Christina more time with her mum and dad.

“The best gifts I’ve ever received were the cancer treatments that saved my parents. My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was living interstate so when I got the phone call I was in utter shock and disbelief.

I came back to sit with her through as many of her appointments as I could because she just sort of shut off when they were going through all the different options, I think it was just too much to take in all at once. We had never been touched by cancer before, so everything we were hearing was new.

At an appointment, one of the doctors explained to us that there was a new experimental treatment available that allowed them to better target cancerous lymph nodes, which meant that she could still keep her healthy ones.

This new treatment was not only successful, it also lessened the aftermath of surgery. Some people may not know, but treatments have come a long way. This was a really eye-opening experience for me because it was the first time I could really see it first-hand.

Later that year my dad was diagnosed with bowel cancer and we actually thought it was a cruel joke because the diagnosis was now the third one to hit our family over just a few months’ time. We lost my grandpa to oesophageal cancer shortly after my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I think after that we were on high alert because my dad noticed he was having symptoms and went in for testing straight away. It was because of this that they were able to catch bowel cancer early. I’m so thankful for the hard lessons we learned because I know they played a big part in saving my dad’s life.

I know there are a lot of great charities out there, but the thing with cancer research is that you never know how many lives could be saved with the next breakthrough.”

Christina Belperio – Regular Giver of the Month

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The Norman Foo Fund

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In memory of his late uncle, ACRF Supporter Timothy Lim has embarked on an intense training regimen to help prepare him for the Busselton Ironman Triathlon this Sunday, December 6th.

“My uncle, Norman Foo lost his three and a half year battle with lung cancer in the early hours of July 24, 2015. He was a father, a husband, a grandfather, an academic, and a genuine human being. He was positive and brave to the end.”

In Australia, lung cancer is one of the five most commonly diagnosed cancers and causes more deaths than any other type of cancer. It only has a 5-year survival rate of about 14%.

“One of his final wishes was that we donate to charities in lieu of flowers at his funeral. Through my fundraiser, the Norman Foo Fund, I hope to raise over $10,000 to help the ACRF fund research to end cancer.”

With the help of generous family and friends, Tim has already achieved more than half of his initial fundraising target!

“Uncle Norman has always been such an inspiration to me. I have been in awe of his bravery, optimism, and ability to endure. To champion my fundraising effort, I will be attempting my first full Ironman-distance triathlon. It will consist of a 3.8km swim, followed by an 180km bike ride, and finished with a 42.2km run. This will be a true test of my physical and mental endurance.”

Tim is a 30-year-old engineer from Brisbane who considers himself pretty ordinary. “I enjoy food, frolicking in the sunshine…and not being at work.” And when he’s not working his 9-5 he’s been putting in an extraordinary effort into his fitness and training. Already this year, Tim ran 42km at the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival and completed his first triathlon in Noosa. He pushes his limits in weekly swim squad sessions and long distance cycling. With one month to go to the Busselton Ironman, he is feeling fit and strong.

To help support Tim and his Norman Foo Fundraiser, click here.

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Fiona knows how precious time is

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“I will forever cherish the Christmas holidays I spent with my mum and my sister. My mum Annie was sedated and on pain relief, but she smiled and was so happy when I told her that she was finally going to be a grandmother. I still remember holding her hand and the way she smiled when I told her. My father kept joking saying ‘You’re going to be Grannie Annie, Grannie Annie.’

She now has six grandsons but sadly she didn’t get the chance to meet any of them. I think my mum would have been so proud of what thoughtful caring young men they have turned out to be. They have their grandmother’s sense of compassion and mischievous sense of humour.

My mum was totally devoted to her family. She was so loving and supportive and was a fantastic role model for me and my two sisters – Andrea and Dominique. I’ve always tried to be as loving and giving as she was. I could easily talk to her about anything and she had this strength about her that I’ve always admired so much.

My family originally came from Great Britain, and so every Christmas we’d have roast turkey with stuffing, baked potatoes and veggies, plum pudding with hot custard – even if it was 38°C. I’ve continued with the turkey (I just serve it cold with salad and seafood now). But I still love my Christmas pudding served hot so that is something that will never change! Also every Christmas me and my three siblings would hang up our Christmas stockings for Santa, and every year we’d find them filled in the morning with a small present.

My husband Colyn and I carried on this tradition when we had Fraser and Lachlan – I even still try and put out their stockings though they sometimes grumble good-naturedly because they’re now teenagers.

Losing my sister to the same disease cut a wound that will never heal. My sister Dom would do anything for anyone.

Riley & mum Thornleigh - 1-2003

She was well respected and loved and this was shown in the large crowd of friends and family who attended her funeral. She was special. Dom was also quite shy and quiet like my mum. She was passionate about the environment and worked as a volunteer.

She loved being a mum – it was her greatest joy. She loved to take her boys out and would run around and play with them.”

At night it was time for bedtime stories and cuddles. Because Riley and Logan loved Thomas the Tank Engine her husband,  Ross built cubbyhouse and Dominique spent hours painting the face of Thomas the Tank Engine on the front. She would make special little carrot muffins for her boys because she knew they loved them.

She would take them to outings and loved taking them for bush walks and showing them the birds, trees and other flora and fauna. She started up a mothers group where she lived as a chance for mums and babies to play and get to know each other.

Her family miss her so very much, it was the special little things that she did for them.

Being there to cuddle them and love them when they were sad or upset. Riley and Logan’s dad and grandmother shower them with love and take them on lots of adventures and holidays but they still miss their mum.”

– Fiona Henrisson, ACRF Supporter

Join Fiona and become a cancer research supporter today

Ruth Robinson, Regular Giver of the Month

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“My dear friend and colleague, Andrew “Sid” Sidoli had fair skin and freckles. While he loved surfing, he always tried to look after his skin by putting on sunscreen and a shirt or wetsuit but it still wasn’t enough in the end.

He was on holidays with his sister, Rebecca, when she noticed an abnormality on his back and told him he needed to get it checked.

The lesion turned out to be melanoma. But from the day of his diagnosis Andrew fought it with everything he had and remained optimistic. One day when I saw him in the corridor at work he told me ‘I’ve been given a 10% chance of survival, and while I have a 10% chance, I have hope.’

Sid was larger than life, he always had a cheeky smile on his face and everyone at work loved and respected him. He made time for everyone and was really supportive when my Mum passed away. He encouraged me, and I think most people in his life, to get our skin checked regularly.

He later became bedridden when the melanoma spread to his lungs and brain. His doctor, the well-known, Charlie Teo did everything he could for him, but at just 40 years old my beautiful friend sadly lost his battle.

Unfortunately, Sid was amongst many of my work colleagues who had been affected by various cancer types over the years. I believe the only way we will fight this dreaded disease is through research, which is why I choose to support the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

I used to donate whenever I had spare money, which was about twice a year, but not long after Sid passed I signed up to be a regular giver. I realised that if I donated on a monthly basis it would help researcher’s fast track discoveries and ultimately save more lives. I donate just over $1 a day each month so it barely affects my daily budget.

I have seen how advancements in cancer research can really help people. My brother in law, Noel Hughes is now battling liver cancer and the oral chemotherapy tablets he takes are far less traumatic for him than those that were available years earlier.

If you can afford just $1 a day, please consider supporting the ACRF, cancer could affect anyone of us and at any time.”

– Ruth Robinson, Regular Giver of the Month

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Trekking the Larapinta Trail for Cancer Research

A few weeks ago, dedicated ACRF supporter, John Pratt returned home from an epic Larapinta Charity Challenge in the Northern Territory.

Before we got a chance to hear all about his trip, this avid trekker was back in his hiking boots, taking on a section of the Heysen Trail in South Australia for a second time – an impressive way to celebrate his recent 74th birthday.

The ACRF Larapinta charity challenge is one of the seven Great Walks of Australia. “In 2014 I completed the 1200km Heysen Trail and this opportunity to walk the Larapinta Trail seemed too good to pass up. Not only would I be supporting a cause I’ve contributed to for several years, I would get to experience hiking parts of the iconic Larapinta trail and have an opportunity to be on the summit of Mount Sonder to see the sunrise.”

Over the six-day trip, John and a group of 4 leaders and 15 other hikers covered between six and sixteen kilometres each day over a variety of terrain. They were treated to the beautiful sights of an ancient land, taking in the scenic landscapes including the vast flood plains, the razorback rocky outcrops and narrow canyons where sheltered pockets of delicate ferns and twisted gum trees grow from the dry rivers of sand.

After their long days of trekking, the group were able to relax in style in exclusive wilderness campsites. The little taste of luxury ‘glamping’ added to the trekkers enjoyment of the Larapinta Trail, offering lounge and dining facilities, hot showers, eco-toilet facilities, solar lighting, and camera battery charging ports. “The facilities at the semi-permanent campsites were good and all the food was excellent, including the lunches the leaders carried and prepared out on the Trail.“

“Everything went smoothly – it was well organised and well led. For me, the best part of the trip was experiencing highlights of the Larapinta Trail along with a selection of features near its route (like Ormiston Gorge and Pound) with a group of like-minded people who blended together very well.”

The Larapinta Trail is just one of many fundraisers John has accomplished. His advice to others considering signing up for a charity challenge is to just go for it! “Make sure you’re physically and mentally prepared as it will make the experience much more enjoyable,” says John.

John, who lost a close friend to cancer last year, has raised over $2,000 for cancer research in addition to his long-term regular giving. Click here to show your support for John.

There are many ways to get involved in an adventure charity challenge. We provide one-to-one fundraising support along the way to help you reach your fundraising target. Learn more about charity challenges and fundraising.

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Fighting cancer with fitness

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In April, dedicated ACRF supporter, Jodie Gardiner ran in the Australian Running Festival in Canberra and raised over $2,200. Now she’s working her way through a unique fundraising challenge she set for herself called ‘Fighting Cancer with Fitness.’ Jodie hopes to complete 100 workouts before her 42nd birthday while raising funds for a cause close to her heart.

“This year I lost my step-sister, Rachael to liver cancer. My step-mum was diagnosed and is fighting lung cancer. My aunty was diagnosed and is fighting breast cancer. Last year I also lost my uncle to cancer. This is an insidious disease and I’ve had enough.

In losing my step-sister Rachael, we didn’t just lose one woman we lost several because she was the center of so many universes. We always got on like a house on fire and shared a lot of similarities in our lives – we were both public servants who also qualified as a personal trainer and we each had two sons.

Rachael was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer called Sarcomatoid Hepatocellular Carcinoma. After ten months of treatment, she lost her battle. She was only 36 years old, leaving behind her loving husband, Paul and their two young sons.

Rachael was a great mother, it broke her heart that she would not be there to see her children grow up. She worried that her sons wouldn’t remember her, so she asked her family to promise to help make sure they would never forget her.

Paul has been an absolute tower of strength for his sons and is making every effort to ensure they still see their grandparents and that they will always remember their mum.

I am fortunate to have some great memories of Rachael. I worked at a gym with her a few years ago. We had an absolute ball working together – we learned so much about each other and became really close.

Rachael was such a fun, energetic and vibrant woman. She had such a passion for health and exercise, and her love of fitness inspired me to get my personal training qualifications. I remember not long after Rachael was diagnosed, her sister Kylie was attempting her first 10km fun run. Rachael and her family were waiting on the sidelines to cheer Kylie on.

Suddenly, Rachael ran out from the crowd to jog alongside her sister. Rachael motivated Kylie through the final kilometres and they crossed the finish line holding hands. It was a very special moment that I’m glad I got to witness and I think it beautifully sums up what sort of a person she was.

Losing her to cancer made us all realise that life is short and it has certainly made us all stop and smell the roses a little. Everyone knows someone who has been diagnosed with some form of cancer, I’m fighting for all of them.”

Click here if you would like to support Jodie.

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Erin Prepares To JUMP! For Cancer Research

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ACRF Supporter, Erin Headington has a passion for helping people and isn’t afraid of taking on a challenge. In December, shortly after she graduates university as a Registered Nurse, Erin will take the plunge and skydive for cancer research.

“I’m making the jump in honour of my cousin who was diagnosed with lymphoma in June. It was a huge shock at first as she was just 24 years old. We’re only a year and half apart and we have a very close relationship. It’s really horrible knowing she has been having a really tough time with the side-effects of chemotherapy.

Her mother, father and brother have not been coping well with the diagnoses. Their family have experienced a lot of loss in the last 3 years and are now coming to terms with my cousin fighting cancer at such a young age.

I decided to do something to support my cousin and her family so I began researching ways to help cancer patients. When I came across the ACRF I thought that raising money for cancer research would be a good way to do my part to help find a cure. I want to prevent others from enduring this devastating disease in the future.

The ACRF JUMP! skydiving challenge really appealed to me as I’ve always been a thrill-seeker at heart. It’s great to know there are so many different ways to get involved – especially since I could never picture myself running in a marathon.

I would really encourage others to find a fun and achievable challenge that suits them too. At the moment I’m very busy managing two jobs and studying full time – so if I can do it, anyone can!”

Show Erin your support. Erin will also be raising funds for the ACRF with a sausage sizzle out the front of Woolworths Shellharbour on Sunday 22 November between 10am-2pm.

 

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Remembering Rosemary

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“In the UK in 1998, my twin sister, Rosemary discovered a lump on her breast and was diagnosed with breast cancer at only 38 years old.

Rosemary and her husband were busy parents with four kids – two teenagers Rachel and Tommy, an 11 year old daughter, Jenny and a 9 year old son, Sam. Her illness was extremely hard on the whole family. We felt powerless as we watched her endure so much pain and distress at the thought of leaving her children.

Rosemary fought courageously and was an inspiration to her community. Her friends and neighbours rallied to support the family during their time of need. The locals made renovations to their house to make her life easier and raised money to send her on a trip to visit me in Australia. This was one of the happiest months of my life, we shared precious time reconnecting and reminiscing about our childhood.

It was heart-warming to know that so many people were offering a helping hand where they could. Wednesdays became known as ‘Rosemary Day’ in the area and each week, for three whole years, a group of ladies would take her out for the day. They would visit beautiful and interesting places and then have dinner together at their favourite restaurant.

After five years of suffering Rosemary sadly lost her battle on her daughter’s 11th birthday. It is now a bittersweet day for the family and each year on the anniversary the four children meet in the church garden to celebrate their mother. The two girls also “Run for Rosemary” in Mother’s Day fundraising marathons.

As her twin sister I feel her loss greatly, it’s very upsetting for me knowing that she did not get to see her children grow up or meet her grandchildren. I know that Rosemary would be so proud of her family and how much they have cared for each other.

Over the years, cancer has continued to touch the lives of friends and others around me. A couple of years ago my husband and I realised the importance of cancer research first hand when he was diagnosed with melanoma and took part in a research trial. He has since developed kidney cancer and is being treated with targeted immune therapy which would not have been possible a few years ago.

I often think back to the time when Rosemary developed cancer and appreciate all the progress that has been made since then. I support the ACRF with a monthly donation and have left a bequest in my will. I know my donations go towards helping the ACRF fund the necessary equipment that allows researchers to make many more life-saving discoveries. I hope that together we can spare many families the heartbreak of losing their loved ones in the future.”

ACRF Regular Giver of the Month, Ann Smith

Learn more about becoming a regular giver.
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Beneath the surface of skin cancer patients

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Here at the ACRF we are proud to equip Australia’s leading cancer researchers with the resources they need to end cancer.

Recently, a team of researchers from the University of Queensland discovered a protein that helps to control an important process in cell adhesion that is disrupted when someone contracts a disease such as skin cancer.

The researchers said that the Australian Cancer Research Foundation Cancer Biology Imaging Facility at UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) played a vital role in this research.

It is currently one of the largest and most comprehensively equipped facilities in Australia for both the imaging and screening of chemical and biological libraries.

The facility was founded in 2010 with a $2.5 million ACRF grant and is home to 23 high-performance microscopes and supporting image data analysis workstations.

PhD student Rashmi Priya at IMB says that what the research has done is clarify the role of the protein myosin in tissue integrity.

“The protein Myosin is found at cell connection points and we now know that it plays a crucial role in regulating how cells stick together to form tissues in the body,” she said.

“Our research has shown that this is because myosin protects a switch that acts as a stabiliser. This switch must be very tightly controlled as it affects many processes within the body. Too much or too little of this switch, or having it in the wrong place, can lead to diseases such as skin cancer, says Priya.”

Professor Alpha Yap, who led the research team, says “The cells in all the tissues of our body die and have to be replaced as regularly as every 24 hours in the intestinal system. For this to happen, adhesion between cells must be carefully broken down and rebuilt, and we now have a better understanding of what it is that’s controlling this whole process.”

The original article was published on the Institute for Molecular Bioscience website, click here to read more.

Isabella’s Crazy Hair Day for Cancer Research

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, cancer research fundraising, charity foundation, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, Fundraising ideas for schools, Crazy Hair Day, School Fundraiser, Wacky Hair Day

An outstanding young student from Victoria wanted to honour her late grandfather by raising money for cancer research. Isabella is in year six and decided that the best way to make a big impact was to get her whole school involved – so she approached the vice principal about organising a crazy hair day.

“Isabella came to see me at the start of the term to share her enthusiasm for wanting to make a difference to the lives of people living with cancer. Her passion for this cause was obvious and she had really done her research,” said Vice Principal Stuart Boyle.

“As adults, we are all educators and it’s often how we respond to young people that teaches them the most. I’m truly impressed by Isabella wanting to take on the responsibility of organising a whole school fundraiser.”

Isabella was so proud to be able to do her part to end an illness that had affected her family in such a horrible way. She spent the term organising every detail of the event herself.

She put signs up around the school to promote the event, made sure it was advertised in the weekly school newsletter and spoke at her assembly about the ACRF and why she felt it was important to support cancer research.

She wanted all the students to come to school with their hair teased, coloured and gelled into fun and unique hair styles – and the crazier, the better, because she had even prepared prizes for the ‘best hair’ winners to be drawn at an assembly on the day.

Everyone was invited to participate and students brought along a gold coin donation to show their support for cancer research.

Together Isabella and her primary school were able to raise a fantastic total of $471.10. We thank Isabella for all the hard work she put into supporting the ACRF.

If Isabella’s story has inspired you to organising an event for cancer research, check out our A-Z of Fundraising Ideas.

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Brave ACRF supporters skydive for cancer research

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With Father’s day right around the corner, we’re looking back at some of the unique ways ACRF supporters have chosen to celebrate this special day.

Last year the ACRF held a Father’s Day jump in Wollongong where an extremely brave and inspirational team of four siblings did the jump in memory of their father.

As the year progressed we discovered how Father’s Day was just one of many reasons that our supporters chose to take on this challenge.

Susanne Richter was inspired to raise money for Cancer Research as her grandma, grandpa and dad all fought different kinds of cancer.

“My dad successfully fought prostate cancer,” says Susanne. “He is now well and enjoying his retirement but getting there has been really tough. I made the decision to jump for ACRF because there is still so much research that needs to be done to ensure that everyone’s story has a happy ending like my dad’s.”

Susanne jumped with 10 other ACRF supporters who went above and beyond, raising more than $34,000 for world-class cancer research.

“I am so happy to support such a wonderful cause and I am very proud of us and the incredible amount of money that was raised. This was definitely an experience I will never forget!”

ACRF jumper and cancer survivor, Maria De Virgilio, shared her thoughts on why she took the plunge and how she feels that she is living proof that that cancer research will save lives.

“Cancer does not have to be a death sentence, it’s an illness and it’s one we are getting better at fighting with new treatments, and support groups, and most importantly ongoing research.” She teamed up with her sister Teresa and best friend Vicky to celebrate her strength and pay tribute to her friends and family who also battled the disease.

Where as Krystyna Pollard chose to make the jump as brave gesture in support of her mother’s fight against pancreatic cancer.

“I hope that by flinging myself out of a plane I can not only raise money so someone, somewhere can perhaps find a cure for this disease, but so I can face some fear of my own and overcome it. Just like mum is,” says Krystyna.

We are inspired by each and every one of these amazing Jumpers– we cannot thank them enough for their bravery, determination and generosity.

 

A dedicated daughter and determined mum runs toward the cures for cancer

Australian Cancer Research Foundation, ACRF, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, cancer fun run, cancer research fundraising, City2Surf, Challenge, charity challenge, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, Sydney, marathon, London Marathon, Carol Tannous-Sleiman

Carol Tannous-Sleiman is setting an incredible example for her three young children. Having just run in the 2015 London Marathon in memory of her father, she is already gearing up for another race and continues to raise funds for cancer research.

“The ACRF is an important charity for me and taking on fundraising challenges is something that I do on behalf of my father, my family and my children.”

In the lead up to London she raised an astonishing $11,000. “I can’t thank everyone enough, I’m very humbled that people have donated and are here to support me. Not only does it mean a lot to me, it really means a lot to the many survivors and families out there who have lost love ones to cancer.”

Her and her team of 29 staff from Greenwood Early Education Centre have been gearing up to run in this year’s City2Surf. Together they’re working with a personal trainer and planning a number of fun fundraisers in the lead up to the race, including an international party for both the kids and the parents to get involved in.

Over the years Carol has participated in many famous Marathons, including Paris, Chicago and New York. London was her twelfth Full Marathon and another to cross of the Bucket List.

“London was definitely in the top five – why not do a nice run, for a good cause, in a beautiful city like London?!”

Before having kids, Carol had never pictured herself as a runner. To keep fit she enjoyed a daily 8km walk. “Strangely enough, it was actually my busy lifestyle that provided me with the impetus to start running. With the demands of work and parenthood, I needed to find a more time efficient form of exercise. So I thought, why don’t I just run instead of walk?” Since then she’s never looked back, and has continued to move from strength to strength.

Her first real test was to run the 14km City2Surf and before long she found herself participating in 21km Half Marathons. She finally took on the full 42.2km at the Melbourne Marathon. “When you finally cross that line, it is the biggest sense of achievement. You get very tearful, it’s amazing I’m so excited to share in that moment with my team.”

Click here to show Carol your support.
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James and Kirsty have their eyes on the finish line

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For us, this year is about not letting anything come between us and our dreams – this was the advice my Dad, Mick always gave me.”

This September, James Robson and fiancé Kirsty Donovan will be heading to Europe to run in the Berlin Marathon.

James has been a dedicated ACRF supporter for many years. “While my Dad was receiving chemotherapy treatment back in the UK, I felt like there wasn’t a lot I could do from 12,000 miles away, so I decided to raise as much money as possible to help eradicate this disease.”

“For years I ran in his honour. I ran Iron Man challenges, half marathons and more; running to prevent the sadness, raising money to give every step more meaning in the hopes that Dad might survive his cancer.”

“After three long years of fighting brain tumours, Dad lost his battle with the disease and passed away. I was on a plane home to him as soon as I received the phone call and was able to make it in time to say goodbye. It will be almost a year but it still feels like yesterday.”

“Now I am running in his memory. The ACRF is very close to our hearts and running to raise funds is a way for us to take on a personal challenge at the same time as hitting back at cancer.”

With the help of generous family and friends the couple have raised an astounding $25,000.

James and Kirsty continually strive to move onwards and upwards. With each event they participate in, they continue to challenge both their physical and mental endurance.

“People all over the world are fighting for their lives and they have no rest, so we’ve decided to carry on going to really make a difference and help more people.”

Already this year, they took on the Sydney Half Marathon. “Together we hope to keep going for the full 42km until we reach the Brandenburg Gate.”

We wish James and Kirsty the best of luck, and thank them for their ongoing support.

Click here to show your support for James and Kirsty.
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Kelmscott Police Officers set to scale Mt Fuji in honour of fallen friends

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Mt. Fuji, Japan viewed from Chureito Pagoda in the autumn.

 

This September, Western Australian Police Officers Oliver, Anita, Wendy and Tanya will be on route to Japan preparing for an experience of a lifetime. They will be hiking the country’s tallest mountain – Mount Fuji, in an effort to raise funds for cancer research and honour their fallen friends.

The past two years have been difficult ones for the Kelmscott Local Police Team. They’ve had to watch two of their brothers in blue, Larry McCarthy and Gary Husain, lose their battle with cancer.

“We’re a really close-knit crew and have been working together for a number of years. It was really difficult losing our friends. They were both really hard working and loyal men. They were always doing their best for our community.”

Experienced hiker and Senior Sergeant, Oliver Lund, will be leading the team on their ascent. And as someone who has already successfully scaled one of the world’s most challenging summits – Mt Kilimanjaro, he will be the perfect man for the job.

“We’re taking on this challenge for a number of reasons. Not only is it going to be a great team-building exercise, but it will also be a really special way to remember our friends and raise funds for a cause that has affected us so deeply. Cancer is never too far from our minds as so many families in our community are facing the disease.”

They decided that Mount Fuji would be the safest for the crew of first-time hikers, but at 3776 meters above sea level, it’s still considered one of the more challenging climbs.

“It’ll require quite a lot of strength and endurance. We like to keep fit as possible for work, and participate in regular police training days – but we’ve all really stepped it up in preparation for the climb.”

“Depending on how the weather treats us we’re planning on setting off in the evening and planning our trek so that we will finally reach the peak at dawn. Watching the sunrise from the top will be such an amazing experience.”

The team hopes to raise awareness of the ACRF Fundraising program “The more people that know about the ACRF Online Fundraising Program, the greater the impact we can have so we’re doing everything we can!”

To show your support these brave officers click here.
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Running for S.T.E.F – Elderene is on a mission to Stop Tumours Ending Friendships

Cancer Fundraising, Charity Challenge, Running for Cancer, Funding Cancer Research, Charity Foundation, Cancer Charity, London Marathon, Donate to charity, Fighting Cancer, End Cancer, Campaign for Cancer, Running for Stef, Brain Cancer, Fundraising Campaign, Cancer Campaign, running for stef, running for cancer research, marathons, fun runs, brain cancer, cancer treatments, cancer prevention

Earlier this year, Stephanie Barker was preparing to run the Mackay half marathon when she realised something wasn’t right. Just days after running 10km, she was flown to Townsville for treatment for an aggressive grade four brain tumour.

“I was totally unaware of what it was to have a tumour, or a mass, or brain cancer, I am so lucky the emergency room doctor was able to stabilise me in Mackay. Once stable, I was flown to the Townsville Hospital where I underwent major brain surgery.”

Before the surgery, Stephanie’s brain tumour was the size of an orange, which meant that she could only spend two weeks at home over Easter before heading back to Townsville to undergo six more weeks of daily radiation and chemotherapy.

It was there she met Elderene, a Senior Radiation Therapist and soon to be friend. “We were surprised to find that we have so much in common, we are both originally from Africa and had spent time living in England before getting married and making the move to sunny Queensland.”

The similarities didn’t end there – Stef and Elderene also share a passion for running. “I had been training for the Mackay run before being diagnosed but, unfortunately, doctors advised me not to run.”

“Being the character that I am, I started joking that Elderene should run in my place.” What Stef didn’t know at the time was that Elderene had actually completed 22 full marathons. “Unlike me she’s a veteran of distance – I’m in awe of her as I have to drag myself over the line in a half marathon.” Elderene assured her that 42.2km is nothing compared to having to battle a grade four brain tumour.”

A few days later, Elderene had some big news for Stef, “Elderene was bursting with excitement as she told me that she had been given a spot in the 2016 London Marathon, and that she would be running for me!”

“I am still stunned, so overwhelmed! Elderene had taken me so seriously that she is now going to travel 16,000km at her expense to run for me in the London Marathon.”

‘S.T.E.F’ became an inspiring acronym for the ‘Running for Stef’ Fundraising Campaign: Stop Tumours Ending Friendships. Elderene explained that raising money and awareness made her feel like she was playing her part.

“I want to see a cure for cancer in my lifetime and my aim is to raise $10,000 for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation for Stef and the thousands of people who are battling cancer.”

Click here to support Elderene.

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The moment that changed my family forever.

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“Back in 1998 my husband and I were like any other typical family. We had two sons, one aged four and eight. My husband, Craig, was an electrical engineer and Officer in the Navy. He was passionate about the Navy and his job at HMAS Albatross in Nowra. Craig was looking forward to being promoted and taking the next step in his career, while I was studying adult education and both our boys were involved in many sporting activities. We were no different than any other family.

April 1998 will be a month I will never forget. Craig had been complaining of not feeling well, having a sore throat and just feeling lethargic. Within one week Craig had been admitted to the oncology section of Wollongong hospital and diagnosed with a rare form of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Our world tipped upside down in a moment and I was trying to explain to a four and eight year old that their father was very sick and may not live. Craig was told that the only way he could live was with a bone marrow transplant and that he didn’t have much time. The chances of survival were given at 30%.

Craig endured chemotherapy which was quickly followed by a bone marrow transplant. Fortunately for Craig his identical triplet sisters were a match and one was selected as his donor. Hurdle one was achieved. The next step was to get into Westmead Hospital for the transplant and that was hurdle two. The transplant unit only took 6 patients at a time and we had to wait. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to wait.

Eight months were spent in and out of hospital however after the transplant it was found that Craig had suffered a complication from the transplant which affected his lungs. After many years with Craig’s lung problems he eventually passed away on 8 August 2002 at 38 years of age.

Throughout all the treatments and hospital visits there was one thing that Craig was passionate about and that was raising funds to find a cure for leukaemia, particularly in children. Craig felt that if he found the treatments hard to cope with, then small children with any type of cancer would be in a worse position.

I continue Craig’s passion for finding a cure for all cancers, which is why I have become a Partner in the Cure. The researchers and medical professionals working at ACRF are equally passionate about finding cures in the hope that people like Craig get to live a fulfilling life with their families. I’m proud to do my small part by regularly donating to the ACRF so that they can continue to fund breakthroughs in cancer research.

Cures for cancer can only come from research and if we all contribute a small amount this means that cancer research can continue in Australia,” Regular Giver of the Month – Dianne King.

Learn more about becoming a regular giver.

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Using your talent to raise funds for cancer research

Every one of us has a unique set of talents, and our mission at the ACRF is to support Australia’s top cancer researchers to do what they do best.

It’s not easy to find the motivation to explore your strengths and creativity, but raising funds to help the experts find new treatments and cures for cancer might be just the inspiration you need! To help get your started, see what some of our supporters are doing.

MusicMusic icon

May Carrick is a police officer by day and a musician who records his albums by night, dedicating all proceeds to cancer research in honour of his father whom he lost to cancer two years ago. May first began writing music to help him cope. Check out his latest album here.

ArtPaint icon

Mikaela Designs is an amazingly talented sketch artist who recently showcased her work in honour of her late friend Casey. Her artwork was auctioned off to the highest bidder at an exhibition that she organised for cancer research.

JewelleryJewellery icon

Kirin Matthews is the founder of Jewellery for a Cause – a jewellery company with a passion for supporting charitable organisations and important causes. She donates 20% of each piece to charities such as the ACRF. View one of her latest creations here.

If you’re still not sure what type of charity fundraising you want to do, you can visit our A-Z fundraising page for more fun ideas on how you can make the most of your own unique talents.

No hair don’t care – brave supporters lose their locks for cancer research

This inspiring group of individuals won’t have to worry about hat hair under their beanies this winter. They’ve faced the scissors in honour of those who have had to face cancer and in doing so have helped shave years off of cancer research.

The O’Neil family raised an incredible $10,000 and lopped off an equally impressive amount of hair at an event that honoured their mum. We all owe a big thank you to this family of legends for their most generous act of support.

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Joining them, Angela from Bowral in the Southern highlands made the decision to shave her hair off on her grandpa’s birthday. “My grandfather was the most amazing kind hearted man. He lost the love of his life to this disease and had to then face it on his own so this was my way of honour them both.”

Meanwhile in Melbourne the ReachLocal team embarked on a race like no other. They were let loose on the town to carry out a mission that would prove themselves against their in-house rivals and raise money and awareness for cancer research.

No hair don’t care - brave supporters lose their locks for cancer research This inspiring group of individuals won’t have to worry about hat hair under their beanies this winter. They’ve faced the scissors in honour of those who have had to face cancer and in doing so have helped shave years off of cancer research. The O’Neil family raised an incredible ,000 and lopped off an equally impressive amount of hair at an event that honoured their mum. We all owe a big thank you to this family of legends for their most generous act of support. Joining them, Angela from Bowral in the Southern highlands made the decision to shave her hair off on her grandpa’s birthday. “My grandfather was the most amazing kind hearted man. He lost the love of his life to this disease and had to then face it on his own so this was my way of honour them both.” Meanwhile in Melbourne the ReachLocal team embarked on a race like no other. They were let loose on the town to carry out a mission that would prove themselves against their in-house rivals and raise money and awareness for cancer research. The winning team had the honour of cutting the Learning Program Manager’s gorgeous long locks and were pretty excited about it (as you can see!). Everyone came out feeling like champions in the end when they discovered that they smashed their fundraising target. Well done all! We are humbled by your efforts. If these superstars have inspired you and you want go bare under your beanie this winter find out more by clicking here. https://acrf.com.au/head-shaves-for-cancer-research/

The winning team had the honour of cutting the Learning Program Manager’s gorgeous long locks and were pretty excited about it (as you can see!). Everyone came out feeling like champions in the end when they discovered that they smashed their fundraising target.

Well done all! We are humbled by your efforts. If these superstars have inspired you and you want go bare under your beanie this winter find out more by clicking here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Running season is upon us!

city2surf, running, marathons, teams, charity, cancer research, running for the cure, cancer fundraising, It’s time to tie up those laces and get into a rhythm. There are four great running events coming up in locations across Australia.

If you’re a seasoned runner we hope that you’ll consider running for the ACRF in your next event because it’s runners like you that help fund critical cancer research. And if you’re brand new we want to encourage you to become not just any athlete, but the one that will end cancer.

When you join the ACRF running team you join an amazing group of individuals, some that have run over 10 marathons in a year! The ACRF will also be there to encourage you along the way, providing you with a wealth of resources to help you reach your goals.

If you have any questions or would like more information please contact run@acrf.com.au or click here.

Best of luck!

Mother’s Day gift ideas: 3 simple ways to show your mum how special she is

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Behind every wonderful human being is an even more amazing mother. May 10th is a special day for recognising them and it’s just around the corner!

It can be tough to find a way to thank our mums for standing tall and showing us that it is possible to be strong and gentle at the same time. They inspire us, ground us and support us endlessly. So how can we show them they are appreciated in more ways than they will ever know?

At the ACRF, we believe that the best gift you can give to your mum for Mother’s Day is your time. So here are some simple yet unique ideas of things you can do:

  1. Volunteer with her doing something she loves. She’ll get an extra dose of appreciation from the people she is helping.
  2. Get her an Entertainment Book! It’s full of deals on things you could do together.
  3. Or make an in-celebration donation to cancer research, a gift that will help protect her health and yours through world class research in prevention, diagnosis and cure. The ACRF can provide you with a selection of cards and cancer research ribbons, as a way of honouring and acknowledging your generous contribution to cancer research.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure she feels the love – she showered you with it all your life after all!

15-year old Charlotte walks 56km in support of cancer research

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Kingston local Charlotte Northam is busy nursing her weary feet after an incredible 12 hour walk to raise funds for cancer research.

Starting out on April 12th at 7:00am, Charlotte walked all the way from Robe to Kingston, SA with groups of supporters who met her throughout her journey, keeping her spirits soaring.

“I’m really happy with the amount of support,” Charlotte said. “More people than I would have thought turned up and I really appreciate it.”

Incredibly, having arrived at the finish line two hours earlier than expected, Charlotte continued on. She wanted to keep to her promise of reaching the 12 hour mark, and so continued walking around Maria Creek. In total she covered over 56kms!

Charlotte’s mum Maria-Rose said she couldn’t be more proud of her daughter. “She has absolutely exceeded all expectations,” she said. “I am very proud of what she has done.”

The local Lions club hosted a celebratory barbeque at Lions Park where Kingston Mayor Reg Lyon congratulated her on her achievement and presented her with a cheque. “For somebody so young to take on something like this, it’s just wonderful and I’m very proud,” he said.

Charlotte managed to raise $4,876 leading up to the event, smashing through her target of $2,000 for the ACRF. It’s thanks to supporters like Charlotte that researchers are making new discoveries towards better treatment and prevention of for cancer. We can’t thank her enough for her hard work and dedication.

Read about how Charlotte made headlines in the local newspaper Coastal Leader here. (Photo courtesy of the Coastal Leader).

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Chris runs a marathon of marathons to support those fighting cancer

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Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in Australia with an estimated 43,700 people succumbing to it each year.*

So what can one person do help so many who are fighting cancer?

Adelaide local, Chris Glacken answers with “anything and everything you can,” and has challenged himself to run 24 marathons in 24 months to help raise funds for cancer research.

Several of Chris’ close friends and family members, including his father, have been recently diagnosed with cancer. This motivated him to find a way to join in their battle against this terrible disease.

His mission now, for his 24 marathon conquest, is to have the “courage to start, strength to endure, and resolve to finish”.

“This may be a tough and expensive gig but the satisfaction gained from having a go at raising much needed funds for the ACRF makes it all worthwhile,” says Chris.

This adventure is just one of many fundraising efforts that he and his wife Grace have organised over the years, raising around $4,200. His target for marathon donations this year is $15,000. And if he reaches his target, Chris, his wife, and their incredible supporters will have contributed a whopping $20,000.00 in just a few years: fighting cancer through research.

Chris began his marathon of marathons last year at the Cadbury Hobart Marathon in January and will continue to participate in races across the country with his final race ending in Portland, Victoria in November 2015.

His every step is helping cancer scientists get closer to preventing, diagnosing and finding a cure for cancer, so we encourage anyone and everyone to cheer him on!

To follow him on his journey or to donate click here.

* https://acrf.com.au/on-cancer/cancer-statistics-australia/ (2015)

 

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One nutter takes on the Americas

cancer survivorFor many cancer survivors, fundraising to give back to cancer research is often about making the most of a challenge or adventure.

Testicular cancer survivor, David Melville, is using this very approach. Having shown cancer who’s boss, David is now grabbing life with a solo motorcycling adventure from Canada all the way to the southern-most tip of South America.

He set off on August 19,2014 from Vancouver, Canada, heading south to Tierra Del Fuego Argentina and planned to stop in to plenty of cities, fundraising as he went.

Starting a cheeky blog called One Nutter, David has documented his journey so far; telling tales of his epic adventure and how it all began.

David said, “Since [going into remission] I’ve done some basic social work talking to other guys who’d just been diagnosed, but I’ve always wanted to do a bit more to give back.”

David was only 22 years old when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and after several operations and treatments was, thankfully, given the all clear.

David hopes that this ride will help raise some funds to help give back to all those people who helped him through his cancer journey – family, the medical professionals and the researchers behind the scenes.

David has already most generously raised over $1,700 for cancer research and, having just reached Costa Rica, is having the time of his life seeing some amazing sites and raising awareness along the way.

We’d like to thank David for taking on this epic challenge in support of cancer research in Australia and wish him the very best of luck for the remainder of his journey.

If you would like to keep up with David’s trip Down to Argentina, visit his blog or support him by donating here.

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ACRF announces special $10 million Anniversary Grant.

Westmead-LEUKAEMIA-LAB-300x154This year, Australia’s best cancers researchers will make exciting leaps forward in their work and we are excited to be contributing to this progress.

The first of our grant rounds for 2015 is now open, calling for applications for a special Anniversary Grant of $10 million.

This major grant is being offered to foster cutting-edge ideas in Australia’s cancer research circles. It commemorates the ACRF’s 30 year anniversary in keeping with the mission of the Foundation:  to promote bold and significant advances in the prevention, early detection, treatment and/or management of cancer.

It has been created to stimulate collaborative cancer research – bringing together expertise from around Australia and the world towards a shared and powerful research goal.

Detailed, written applications for the 2015 Anniversary Grant will be accepted up to COB on Friday 1 May, 2015.

A special expert panel, nominated by the ACRF’s Medical Research Advisory Committee (MRAC) will review the applications for scientific merit and select a shortlist to proceed to interview and, if deemed appropriate, a site visit.

We look forward to receiving outstanding applications from Australia’s best research teams, and will be sure to keep you informed on where your wonderful support will be making a difference this year.

For more information about our grants please click here.

Researchers develop antibody to target cancerous ovarian cells.

59910457_m1320934-pancreatic_cancer_-300x168Researchers from the Mater Research Institute-University of Queensland (MRI-UQ) have developed an antibody drug, in pre-clinical trials, which attacks cancerous ovarian cells.

The drug has been found to successfully target a specific protein which is present only on the surface of cancerous ovarian cells, not on normal ovarian cells.

Associate Professor John Hooper said, “One of the really interesting things is that while normal ovaries don’t produce this protein, the tumours of about 90 per cent of patients do.”

By targeting this protein, the drug will also help limit the serious side-effects of traditional treatments.

“We can attack the cancerous cells while having little impact on the normal ovarian cells, and that reduces the side-effects, which is obviously of great interest to patients” Associate Professor Hooper said.

“Another thing we found with this protein is that it sits on the surface of the cancerous cells so it’s much easier for the drug to target it.”

While the study is still in its early stages, the research team are taking leaps and bounds towards a better understanding of how to attack ovarian cancer, which is currently the second most commonly diagnosed gynaecological cancer in Australia.

In the project’s next phase, researchers will study how the antibody responds to patient samples to further determine its effectiveness.

More information about this discovery can be found here.

Discovery of four pancreatic cancer sub-types raises hope for future treatments.

Cancer ResearchACRF funding has enabled a new discovery which will improve pancreatic cancer treatments of the near future.

Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), and QIMR Berghofer Institute of Medical Research collaborated with researchers from the Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre in Scotland, to analyse the complete genetic code of pancreatic tumours in 100 patients.

The team identified and mapped out the extensive and damaging genetic changes – finding four key subgroups which differentiate pancreatic tumours by their gene arrangements: ‘stable’, ‘locally rearranged’, ‘scattered’ and ‘unstable’.

Professor Sean Grimmond from IMB said, “Having access to these detailed genetic maps could help doctors in the future determine which chemotherapy drug a patient should get, based on their cancer’s genome.”

This discovery already promises to improve the treatment of at least one of these groups after the researchers noticed an existing class of chemotherapy drugs, used to treat some breast cancers, may also work on patients whose pancreatic tumours have the “unstable” genomes.

The team of researchers realised the significance of their discovery when they found four out of five study patients with this genetic signature responded to the DNA-damaging drugs.

“Two of them had an exceptional response, which happens very, very rarely in pancreatic cancer. Their tumours went away completely,” said the co-leader of the group, Andrew Biankin, who conducted the work at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

Dr Nicola Waddell from QIMR Berghofer (previously from IMB) said pancreatic cancer remained one of the most complex cancers to treat, with a survival rate that has not improved considerably in the last 50 years.

“Our study identified four major genomic subtypes in pancreatic cancer, revealed two new driver genes not previously associated with pancreatic cancer, and reaffirmed the importance of five key genes,” said Dr, Waddell.

The team at IMB plan to begin a clinical trial in the UK, selecting patients for targeted treatments based on their genomic testing.

The ACRF is proud to have supported each the Australian research centres involved in this study with funding over many years. 

Brave head shaves raise funds and honour loved ones.

charity challengeOver the past few months we’ve had some very brave supporters choose to lose their long locks in support and honour of loved ones.

Last year, Cristelle should have been happily celebrating her 26th birthday. Instead her family were rocked by the news that Cristelle’s mother had been diagnosed with breast and lung cancer.

Motivated by her mother’s strength and determination during her surgery and treatments, Cristelle grew her beautiful long hair even longer in order to cut it for charity in December.

Cristelle said, “I have been inspired to grow my hair to make a wig for someone who has lost their hair, just like my Mum did. She is such a strong woman, a fighter.”

On top of cutting and donating her hair, Cristelle also chose to fundraise for cancer research smashing her $2,500 target and raising a most generous $6,914!

Another recent head shave took place just after one of WA’s most famous swim events: the Rottnest Channel Swim.

Cabe Paparone and his three mates took on the challenging swim and, although they were met with some pretty rough conditions, managed to finish in seven hours and 41 minutes. What a fantastic effort!

Cabe’s (very excited) friends and family then took to the clippers to shave off that mane he had been growing for 3 years, in honour and memory of his father who sadly passed away in September.

Through a giant fundraising effort, which saw him organise fundraising events in the lead up to his swim, Cabe raised over $7,500 for cancer research! What a legend!

We’d like to thank Cristelle and Cabe for such an amazing effort. We are inspired and humbled by their dedication and generosity

If you are interested in fundraising for cancer research through shaving, cutting or colouring your hair please click here for more information.

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Boot scootin’ for Misty Molly Muffin raises funds to help end cancer.

47a4cc01b3127cce98548b87da4d00000015100RcNGzRq4aYSome boot scootin’ fun has led to a most generous fundraising event, in memory of a beloved pet.

Misty Molly Muffin, the Silkyhuahua, sadly passed away in 2014 and in her memory the owners of line-dancing studio, Bossy Boots Dancin’ Fun, raised a most generous $6,000 for cancer research in Australia.

Throughout 2014, David and Janene Lawson organised a series of fun line-dancing socials, with a portion of the door entry, and profits from the raffles helping to speed up cancer research discoveries.

But David and Janene didn’t stop there, they also organised fundraising at their annual Cruisin’ Country event, as well as at the Sydney Country Music Festival, and they also collected some extremely generous donations from their students.

Over the years, Bossy Boots Dancin’ Fun have danced up a storm in fundraising events, contributing a total of $9,320 to cancer research since 2010. We couldn’t be more grateful for their ongoing support.

We would like to extend our deepest sympathies for the loss of Misty Molly Muffin and also say thank you so very much to David, Janene, their most generous students and all those who attended their socials.

We’re very humbled by their generosity and thank them very much for their support.

To see photos from the Cruisin’ Country event please visit the Bossy Boots Dancin’ Fun website here.

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International study improves test for people at risk of bowel or endometrial cancers.

cancer researchA more accurate way to identify those at a high risk of bowel or endometrial cancer has been discovered by cancer scientists in Queensland.

Researchers at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute led a global effort to refine genetic information in an international database, meaning GPs will have the ability to access the publicly-available data and give patients a truer picture of their familial risk.

This global project arose from the issues many GPs and patients seemed to be having from inconclusive results when tested for Lynch Syndrome – an inherited condition that increases the risk of bowel and endometrial cancer.

Associate Professor Amanda Spurdle, who led the project, said, “The model – using the expertise of researchers and clinicians across the world with a particular knowledge of a rare disease – essentially turns indecipherable sequencing data into real knowledge that can have a clinical benefit.”

“As a result of this work, doctors can more conclusively say whether those patients have Lynch Syndrome, and therefore whether they are at a higher risk of getting another cancer.

“The reverse of that is that we may also ease the worry of some people who’ve had inconclusive results.”

The research team involved Professor Maurizio Genuardi from the University of Florence and Professor Finlay Macrae from the Royal Melbourne Hospital. The International Society for Gastrointestinal Tumours (InSiGHT) committee pooled data from across the world on thousands of different gene changes.

“Through this collaborative effort, we can be confident of our counselling advice to families, offer them testing for the gene fault, and, if they carry it, help them closely monitor their health and take preventative measures,” Associate Professor Spurdle said.

The findings of this project can be found in esteemed research journal Nature Genetics.

The ACRF is proud to have supported QIMR Berghofer Medial Research Institute, having provided more than $6 Million in research grant funding since 2002.

ACRF leads the way in digital innovation

World Cancer DayWednesday 4th February marks World Cancer Day and, in the next step towards putting an end to cancer, one of Australia’s leading cancer charities, the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF), will launch the world’s first charity-driven Top-Level Domain (TLD) .CancerResearch.

.CancerResearch is an internet domain enabling a new digital collective. It will be developed by the ACRF in collaboration with Australian cancer scientists and research centres, providing authoritative information, awareness movements, research news and important messages of hope for both Australian and global communities.

As the suite of .CancerResearch sites expands, international researchers, cancer sufferers, advocates and fundraisers will all have a powerful, unified voice on cancer research.

This effort towards ‘one’ voice will be highlighted in the Foundation’s introductory .CancerResearch awareness campaign, which can be seen at www.TheOne.CancerResearch.

TheOne.CancerResearch uses the latest in digital and social technology to provide an interactive experience for all supporters of cancer research, compiling their many thousands of faces into ‘The One’ entity that will enable new treatments and cures for cancer.

CEO of ACRF Professor Ian Brown said: “We have kick-started our launch with an incredible, community-based initiative – TheOne.CancerResearch. It has been developed through the support of M&C Saatchi and involves a powerful digital experience with the aim of mobilising our supporters in the fight against cancer.

“.CancerResearch is an internet domain with a collaborative vision. We have a long road ahead, but bringing the greatest minds and movements for cancer research together begins now.”

With the ACRF recently celebrating its 30th Anniversary, the launch of a new top-level domain marks a significant milestone for the Foundation. Since its inception, the ACRF has provided more than $100 million for cancer research, supporting major breakthroughs such as the early development of the cervical cancer vaccine.

For more information, please visit: www.theone.cancerresearch

Who is The One?

TheOne, ACRF, Fighting CancerNext week on February 4, people around the world will be getting involved in World Cancer Day, joining forces to show that cancer, its treatments and its cures are not beyond us.

A cancer free future is within our reach and we as a global community have the power to achieve this.

Fittingly, World Cancer Day’s 2015 tagline also ties in with some extremely exciting events happening at the ACRF. Next week is set to be a very momentous one.

Over many months, an incredible team of people – digital agencies, media outlets, Australian cancer researchers, and more – have been busily supporting the ACRF to produce a truly inspiring and original campaign.

It’s a campaign we hope will create a new movement towards increased support for cancer research.

While we can’t say too much to spoil the surprise, our campaign uses the latest in digital and social technology to give you – our supporters – a unique interactive experience.

We want to show you just how important you are in this fight against cancer.

The new campaign will feature alongside a series of websites that the ACRF has been developing in collaboration with Australian scientists, research centres, other not-for-profits, and like-minded organisations.

This community-based initiative is the next step towards putting an end to cancer. Its focus is to generate more awareness and funding for cancer research and we are so excited to get our supporters involved.

We look forward to staying in touch with you on new developments and for those on social, be sure to follow #WhoIsTheOne . Thank you for your ongoing and loyal support for cancer research.


Campaign supporters (what an amazing list of super generous organisations!):

ARI Registry Services
Australian Radio Network
Bang PR
Children’s Medical Research Institute
Commercial Radio Australia
Fairfax Media
Fairfax Radio
Foxtel
Hoyts Cinema
JC Decaux
King & Wood Mallesons
M&C Saatchi
Nine Network
Ooh! Media
Seven Network
Special Broadcasting Service (SBS)
Sticky Digital

Andrew bikes it around Tassie for cancer research

“Apparently riding a tour bike is harder than you think!”

ACRF supporter Andrew has pledged to ride a whopping 1100km around Tasmania and it seems the distance isn’t the only challenge he has vowed to tackle!

When discussing his bike challenge and how he’s planning to keep his supporters up to date with his hard work, Andrew jokes “You’ll be able to see my route and training, and of course any comical crashes that I might get into on the way.”

image-a66767bdaa6b89122a48b65797cce69bWhile we cross our fingers that Andrew, in fact, doesn’t have any crashes and completes his challenge injury free, we’re also extremely humbled by this selfless and extremely generous fundraising challenge and the story behind it.

In 2011 Andrew’s father was diagnosed with cancer, sadly passing away in June 2013. Andrew decided he wanted to do something to help prevent others going through what his dad, and his family, went through.

Andrew’s epic challenge starts in Launceston and makes its way to the west coast past Cradle Mountain, back to Hobart then up the scenic east coast, through Swansea and St Helens and back around to Launceston.

The trip will take just over 3 weeks and Andrew is aiming to raise $3,000 for cancer research in honour of his father. Andrew will be setting of on February 25 and he’s already surpassed the $1,000 mark.

We’d like to thank Andrew for taking on this massive physical challenge to help us end cancer – we couldn’t be more humbled by his dedication and training efforts.

If you’d like to find out more or help Andrew reach his target, you can visit his Everyday Hero page here.

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Promising step forward for triple negative breast cancer treatment

Triple Negative Breast CancerCancer researchers in the UK have linked an overactive gene to a particularly aggressive type of breast cancer called “triple negative” breast cancer.

The team, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge, identified the gene called BCL11A as especially active in triple negative breast cancer, raising hope for those affected by this cancer type.

Prognosis for triple negative cancers is generally poorer than for other forms as there is limited knowledge of the distinct genetic properties of the disease, making the development of new treatments difficult.

Generally, therapies used in treating other breast cancer types, like tamoxifen, do not work on this type of cancer because triple negative tumour cells lack three of the different ‘receptor’ molecules that are targeted by the treatments.

Most triple-negative breast cancer tumours are of a genetic type called ‘basal-like’. BCL11A was found to be overactive in tumour samples from around eight in 10 patients with the ‘basal-like’ disease.

Dr Pentao Liu, senior author on the study, said BCL11A activity stood out as being particularly active in samples from triple negative cancers.

Dr Walid Khaled, co-author on the study said, “Our studies in human cells clearly marked BCL11A as a novel driver for triple-negative breast cancers.”

This discovery builds on researchers’ work to develop a broader understanding of breast cancer which will inform clinical decisions, treatment choices and finding new therapies.

For more information, please click here.

Six more ovarian cancer risk genes found

Close-up of microscopeQIMR Berghofer and the University of Cambridge have led an international study, finding six new gene regions which increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer. The number of ovarian cancer risk susceptibility regions identified has therefore increased, from 12 to 18.

Although these risk gene variants, or “typos”, are much more subtle than the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, incorporating them into tests which predict a woman’s ovarian cancer risk would be more precise.

Head of QIMR Berghofer’s Cancer Program, Professor Georgia Chenevix-Trench said “Individually, each of these ‘typos’ increases the risk of cancer by a very small amount.”

“However, if a woman carries a large number of these ‘typos’ her risk of developing ovarian cancer may be as high as that conferred by mutations in BRCA1 or 2.”

QIMR Berghofer scientists are now part of an even bigger study which is likely to double the number of gene regions known to increase ovarian cancer risk.

“Once we identify each of these genetic ‘typos’, the next challenge is to find out the way they work – both individually and together,” Professor Chenevix-Trench said.

“Understanding how each of these variants works will eventually lead to an understanding how ovarian cancer develops, and how to develop better reduction medications and treatments.”

The ACRF is proud to have provided over $6 million in grants funding to QIMR Berghofer since 2002, for technologies and infrastructure with the power to speed up lifesaving discoveries across many cancer types.

New Year. New Goals. Welcome to 2015.

Calendar with booksWe’re so excited to be starting off 2015 with some great opportunities for supporters to get involved in and help reach those New Year’s resolutions!

If you’re interested in bringing some positive karma to your 2015, read up on some of our great fundraising opportunities below:

Lose it

In 2014 we saw many brave, wonderful supporters shave or cut off their lovely long hair to help raise funds for cancer research. Many of our head-shave heroes did so in support of loved ones battling cancer, or in memory of those they have sadly lost.

They raised an incredible amount for cancer research in Australia and many, in addition to this most generous act of bravery, donated their lovely hair to the Beautiful Lengths program, which makes wigs for patients currently being treated for cancer.

So, if you feel like you’re due for a change in the hair department, why not make a fundraising goal out of it? You can read more about our head-shave program here.

Move it

Many people add at least one health and fitness goal to their New Year’s resolutions. Fitness fundraising doesn’t have to be about running a marathon – there are so many other ways you can be active while raising funds for cancer research!

This year we have a fantastic, and very exclusive, opportunity for 10 fundraisers to travel to France and take on one of the stages of the world famous Tour de France! The ACRF is the only Australian charity providing spots in L’Etape du Tour.

If cycling isn’t one of your strengths, that’s ok – we have so many fitness and endurance events coming up! Take a look at our events calendar to see what’s on.

Plan it

If you’re not much of a fitness event lover, but feel like you still want to do something, put your events planning skills to the test and organise a fundraising event for cancer research!

From local events such as a true-blue Aussie sausage sizzle, to big fancy gala balls, the sky is the limit when it comes to what you want to do to help put an end to cancer for future generations.

Our wonderful fundraising team is always available to talk through any ideas you may have and help you organise or sort through the nitty-gritty details. 

Work it

Many of us working full-time can find it hard to create time outside of work to help our favourite causes. But did you know that by simply opting to donate on a regular basis you’ll be providing our amazing cancer researchers with a stable future to continue their life-saving work?

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to give back to the community in 2015 why not sign up to be a Workplace Giver?

And if work isn’t on the cards, but you still like the sound of regular gifts to cancer research, you can sign up as an ACRF Partner in the Cure. Our regular giving program is a great way to ensure you’re doing your part to help end cancer.

Whatever your goals for 2015 may be, we wish you a happy, peaceful and prosperous year and thank you very much for your dedication to helping us reach our goal – to end cancer for good.

New treatment options possible with bowel cancer discovery

090126_082-300x225Melbourne cancer scientists believe they have found a cause for the onset and acceleration of bowel cancer.

Being the third most common cancer in Australia, this exciting discovery opens up the possibility for new ways to treat bowel cancer, bringing hope to patients suffering from the disease.

Researchers from the prestigious Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre found a two-part failure in bowel cancer cells. Essentially, the mechanisms which stop a cell from multiplying uncontrollably, stop working in bowel cancer cells.

This failure causes the acceleration of the disease and, additionally, the development of resistance to cancer treatments. This two-part failure is known as “chromosomal instability” and is caused by a signalling network in the cell called the Wnt Pathway.

“Previously, in most bowel cancers, we thought this instability built up randomly over time as cancer cells evolved, while a signalling network, called the Wnt pathway, held cells back from chromosome chaos,” Professor Rob Ramsay said.

“Now we have proven this instability begins immediately with the breakdown of the Wnt pathway, which occurs in two steps and sets off an unstoppable acceleration of disease.

“Just as the loss of firstly the handbrake, followed by the secondary loss of a foot brake, both combine to allow a car to career down a hill.”

Chromosomal instability was found in 85 per cent of tumours in people with bowel cancer.

Professor Ramsay says the “double breakdown” in the Wnt pathway sparked complex evolution in the genetic make-up of bowel cancers.

“The dramatic genomic changes cells go through gives the cancer a breadth of opportunities to rapidly evolve, to deceive and outflank the cancer treatments.”

Professor Ramsay said the findings open up potential new treatment possibilities.

“This fundamental new information reaffirms why the Wnt pathway should be a high priority target of new treatment development, and the genetic clues uncovered by our research will help guide the selection of patients for different therapies, some of which are currently available,” he said.

Cabe to lose his locks after Rottnest fundraising swim.

Cabe imageThe Rottnest Channel Swim in WA is set to end its 25th event with a very close shave.

Cabe Paparone, at just 23 years old, has decided the February 2015 swim will be the day he loses his lovely locks that he has been growing for the last three years.

Cabe had originally decided to compete in the 2012 swim. However, when Cabe’s dad Claude was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer, he withdrew to help his dad instead.

Very sadly, Claude passed away aged 52 in September this year.

“On what will almost be three years to the day that dad was diagnosed, I will be swimming the 2015 Rottnest Swim in a team with three other mates and shaving my hair once we have completed the crossing,” said Cabe.

Once Cabe and his team of three other mates complete the 19.7km swim, he will have his head shaved on the beach.

“As soon as he got sick I decided to grow it,” Cabe said. “I was only going to grow it for a year, but thought no one would donate any money so I’d better keep on growing it.”

Cabe already has several eager volunteers putting their hands up to take part in the chop. Behind the clippers will be Cabe’s sister Romy, and brothers Marco and Jack.

Cabe told us his reason for supporting cancer research is because “we would like to contribute to research that assists people living with cancer to achieve the best care and treatment available.”

We’d like to extend our deepest sympathies to Cabe and his family for their loss, but also say a very big thank you taking on two amazing challenges in the New Year.

Thank you Cabe.

For more information you can see Cabe’s fundraising page here.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas

From all of us here at the ACRF, we wish you and your loved ones a very happy and safe holiday this Christmas. Whatever you may be doing we hope you are surrounded by lots of laughter and smiles.

Because of you, our amazing supporters, we surpassed $100 million in grants funding this year –   what a great way to end 2014! We’re looking forward to an even better 2015, helping cancer researchers in their mission to end cancer.

Please note we will be taking a short break over the Christmas holiday, with our office closing at COB Tuesday 23 December, 2014 and reopening on Monday 5 January, 2015.

If you would like to get a kick-start on those good 2015 vibes, please feel free to donate via our secure web portal where our online donation elves will be working hard to process your Christmas donations and issue your receipts ASAP.

As a final thank you for all your support this year we’ve put together this short video below. We look forward to staying in touch throughout 2015.

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World first brain cancer trial raises hopes for patients and families.

59910457_m1320934-pancreatic_cancer_-300x168A world-first trial will test an experimental brain cancer treatment which targets the surface of tumour cells expressing a cancer protein called EphA3.

The drug has already shown successful results in phase I clinical trials for leukaemia patients, and cancer scientists are now keen to test its effectiveness on solid tumours.

This world-first clinical trial on patients suffering from recurrent Glioblastoma (GBM) resulted from major discoveries by a team of scientists at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) and Monash University.

Dr Bryan Day and Dr Brett Stringer, who led the research at QIMR Berghofer, said the study builds on work carried out by the collaborative research team for over more than a decade.

“The protein – EphA3 – was discovered by QIMR Berghofer scientist Professor Andrew Boyd in 1992,” said Dr Day.

Dr Stringer said the upcoming GBM trial would be the first test of the drug against solid tumours, as opposed to blood cancers.

“Unfortunately most new drugs tested for GBM have returned disappointing results and patients have very few treatment options,” he said.

“Once we begin recruiting, this study will have an immediate impact by giving patients access to an innovative treatment which has shown great potential in laboratory testing.”

GBM is the most common primary adult brain cancer and is almost always fatal, killing about 1,000 Australians every year.

Dr Day and Dr Stringer said this trial gives researchers an excellent start to developing a much-needed treatment for patients with aggressive GBM.

“The study will determine how patients tolerate the drug and how their tumours respond,” they said.

“There is also a very important imaging component with brain scans to be performed to detect the borders of the tumours and determine how much of the drug crosses from the blood into the brain to reach the tumour.”

#GivingTuesday – a day Tue give

GivingTuesdayAustralia-Heart

#GivingTuesday is a global charity challenge celebrating and providing opportunities for all of us to give. Charity giving can be equally as rewarding for the giver as it is for the recipient, so on #GivingTuesday we encourage you to jump on the band wagon. It’s like the world will be giving itself a big hug!

What can you do this #GivingTuesday?

Whether you give your Mum a call, give your pet a treat or give your boss a coffee, it doesn’t matter what you give it only matters that you give.

Give yourself a challenge

Why do so many people wait until January 1st to make resolutions? We want you to start early, on December 2nd, by registering for a 2015 charity challenge event. Not daring enough for you? Use #GivingTuesday as a chance to recruit a team to participate and raise money for cancer research with you. Search events here.

What can your workplace do?

Employees

Now is the time to let your employer know about the generous gifts you’ve made to charity this year and ask them to match your giving. With one email, you can double the impact you’ve had in 2014. If you haven’t given as much as you think you could, ask your employer about Workplace Giving. You can make a pre-tax monthly donation to charity through your payroll.

Employers

Share why your company supports Australian cancer research via the company LinkedIn page and intranet with a link to the ACRF donation page, ask your employees for matching submissions, organise a volunteering day or hold a #GivingTuesday party to thank everyone for their superb efforts this year. You could even challenge your employees to support charity by matching $2 for every $1 donated on #GivingTuesday.

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Existing drug for bone disease shows promising anti-cancer properties

imageAn existing drug, currently used to treat patients suffering from osteoporosis and some late-stage bone cancers, has now shown potential to treat other cancers outside of the skeletal system, such as breast cancer.

Several clinical trials, where women with early-stage breast cancer were given this drug, called ‘bisphosphonates’, alongside normal treatment for the disease, have resulted in a ‘survival advantage’ and, in some cases, stopped the cancer from spreading.

A new study by Professor Mike Rogers, Dr Tri Phan and Dr Simon Junankar from Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research found, using sophisticated imaging technologies, has revealed more information about how this advantage works.

They found the bisphosphonates attach to tiny calcifications within the tumours.

These calcium-drug combinations are then devoured by ‘macrophages’, immune cells that the cancer hijacks early in its development to conceal its existence.

“We do not yet fully understand how the macrophages revert from being ‘bad cops’ to being ‘good cops’, although it is clear that this immune cell interacts with tumours, and probably changes its function in the presence of bisphosphonates,” said Professor Rogers.

“Our next step will be to analyse the changes that take place in macrophages, so that we can understand their change in function, and effect on cancer cells.”

Professor Rogers explains cancer scientists already know that the drug is well-tolerated in people, providing a “survival advantage” for some patients with certain cancers when taken early in disease development.

“This now provides a rationale for using these drugs in a different, and potentially more effective, way in the clinic,” said Professor Rogers.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Blood test could predict risk of non-hereditary breast cancer

bloodtestA simple blood test could soon be made possible to predict those at risk of non-hereditary breast cancer.

Breast cancer can be caused by many factors, including gene mutations which are passed from parents onto their children. For example, the hereditary breast cancer gene, BRCA1, accounts for around 10% of breast cancer cases. The majority of cases however, are caused by factors not yet entirely understood.

But researchers are beginning to make headway. An epigenetic signature has been identified across all women who carry the mutated BRCA1 gene. Strikingly, researchers have found the same signature was discovered in the blood of women without the BRCA1 mutation but who went on to develop breast cancer, making it a potential early marker of women’s cancer in the general population.

Cancer scientists now understand that mutations within genes are not the only contributors to the development of disease. The arrangement and expression of our genes has a major impact, and this is overseen by the process of epigenetics.

One of the most studied epigenetic mechanisms is a process called DNA methylation, which was the focus of this particular study.

Researchers looked at the DNA methylation signature in the blood of women both with and without BRCA1 mutations. When the signature was applied to the samples from both of these groups, the women who had developed non-hereditary cancers were found to have the same DNA methylation signature as those with the hereditary gene.

Professor Martin Widschwendter, the study’s lead author and head of the UCL Department of Women’s Cancer, says: “We identified an epigenetic signature in women with a mutated BRCA1 gene that was linked to increased cancer risk and lower survival rates. Surprisingly, we found the same signature in large cohorts of women without the BRCA1 mutation and it was able to predict breast cancer risk several years before diagnosis.”

Further research is required to find out whether this epigenetic signature is just an indicator of breast cancer risk or is involved in the actual development of breast cancer. Work is now also being undertaken to use these findings in clinical trials.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Potential early intervention for those susceptible to pancreatic cancer

Biankin-Andrew-3Australian clinical researchers have found that early detection may be possible for people who are genetically susceptible to pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer has been found to be a very slow growing disease in the early stages, taking between 10 and 20 years to develop. A very “broad window” therefore exists for intervention, provided certain genetic factors are detected early.

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research’s Dr Jeremy Humphris and Professor Andrew Biankin (Professor Biankin is also Regius Professor of Surgery at the University of Glasgow), analysed medical histories and tumour samples taken from 766 pancreatic cancer patients, operated on between 1994 and 2012. They found that roughly 9% of these patients had a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) with pancreatic cancer.

Patients with a close relative who developed pancreatic cancer were more likely to develop cancer in their life-time and 71 per cent of children whose parents had pancreatic cancer were found to have developed the same cancer but 10 years earlier than the parent’s own diagnosis age (known as ‘anticipation’).

These genetic factors, as well as the knowledge that the greatest known risk factors are cigarette smoking, diabetes, obesity and, to a lesser extent, alcohol consumption should make it possible for scientists and GPs to identify novel susceptibility genes, and at the same time design risk management and screening programs for the genetically susceptible group.

“Our findings suggest that when we’re assessing someone, it’s important to understand the family history – not just of pancreatic cancer, but other malignancies too,” said Dr Humphris.

“Smoking led to a much earlier onset of disease, so obviously you would counsel against smoking, especially in those who are genetically susceptible.”

Pancreatic cancer is a lethal disease with a 5-year survival rate of less than 5%. This very low survival rate is generally due to the fact that diagnosis comes only after the disease is advanced or has spread – making a case for early detection methods.

Professor Biankin said “a better understanding of the clinical features of genetically at-risk individuals will help us identify susceptibility genes as well as those who might benefit from genetic counselling and screening for detection of early disease”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Millions in private funding set for top cancer scientists in Australia

cancer scientistEvery year the Australian Cancer Research Foundation provides multi-million dollar grants to support research projects of the highest calibre in Australia.

Last week the ACRF Research Advisory Committee met with the six shortlisted applicants to hear more about their proposed projects for research funding. Chaired by Prof. Ian Fraser AC, the Committee is made up of 14 esteemed cancer scientists.

“There has been a particular interest this year in new technology for looking for molecules which fingerprint cancer cells, and for the genetic mistakes that fingerprint cancer cells,” said Prof. Frazer, following the grant interviews.

This year Committee member, A/Prof. Connie Trimble from John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, USA, travelled to Australia to join our panel of judges over the two day interview process.  Her experience and perspective on the international research stage will ensure that the successful ACRF grant recipients represent the cutting-edge of world research.

The shortlisted research groups, which were selected based on their significant potential to make an impact on cancer diagnosis, treatment and/or cure, represent a need for almost $25.M in funding.

The six shortlisted applicants are from all over Australia, covering research into all cancers. These are:

  1. Walter & Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne, VIC
    Develop a purpose-built facility specialising in developing new targeted therapies for all types of cancer.
  2. Monash Institute of Medical Research – Prince Henry Hospital, Melbourne, VIC
    Expansion of an existing ACRF centre to tackle issues such as early detection, tumour diversity and drug resistance.
  3. University of Queensland Centre for Advanced Imaging, Brisbane, QLD
    A facility specialising in the development and validation of novel molecular imaging agents for cancer.
  4. Children’s Cancer Institute, Sydney, NSW
    Create an integrated and dedicated child cancer precision medicine centre, focused on delivering personalised therapies for Australian children at high risk of treatment failure.
  5. Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, NSW
    Build a space housing super-computer resources for a team of bioinformatics scientists, working towards the analysis of biological changes due to cancer treatment and disease progression.
  6. Sydney University Central Clinical School, Sydney, NSW
    Develop an ACRF imaging centre which will pioneer targeted radiotherapy and provide an opportunity for academia, medicine, industry and government to collaborate on the science and clinical practice of cancer treatment.

The recipients of the 2014 grants will be announced in November. If you would like to read more about our grants process or to find out our past grants recipients please click here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Will Ashley rides 3,200km in solo adventure for cancer research.

Will AshleyWe first met Will Ashley when, at the age of 16, he cycled from Coffs Harbour to Sydney with his best mate in tribute to a very special breast cancer survivor, Will’s mum.

The next year, Will rallied two other adventurers, including his brother Jo, to kayak over 2000Km down the Murray River and raise even more funds for world-class cancer research in Australia. We thought the amazing spirit and generosity of Will Ashley must have no end. And we were right:

Just last week, Will completed yet another epic fitness challenge in support of the ACRF.

At the beginning of September, he rode off on his bike from the Daly Waters Pub in the Northern Territory. In front of him stretched a four week solo journey, which would bring him back his home in Coffs Harbour, NSW.

The days were hot, long and often frustrating – juggling knee injuries, much-needed rest days, and stiflingly hot weather. But Will says the challenge was worth it.

“It was a wonderful ride,” he said.

“Especially North West Queensland where the country was so barren.

“There were a few hiccups. I injured my knee and had to hitch a ride to a physio, but all in all it was an awesome experience.”

At night Will would set up camp on park benches or on a beach and then as dawn broke he’d jump back on his bike and start all over again.

Each day Will pedalled for about 10 to 12 hours, and in the final stretch from Ballina to Coffs Harbour he also had traffic to dodge.

Will planned to raise $10,000 for cancer research in the lead up to, and during, his 3,200km trip. In addition to this most generous goal, Will also stopped in at schools along the way to talk to the students about goal-setting, and healthy lifestyles. Will wanted to show them anything is possible if they want to try and make a difference.

Will arrived back in Coffs Harbour last week, riding into his old school hall at Bishop Druitt College, packed full of students, teachers and family who were eager to congratulate him.

We’d like to thank Will for this amazing fundraiser. His dedication and generosity is truly humbling and his efforts in raising $10,000 by himself is truly an inspiration.

If you would like to find out more about Wills ride you can read about it here. Will also kept a video blog of each of his days – you can watch them here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Deb want’s to challenge you to Live A Little!

fight cancerWe have some pretty amazing supporters here at the Australian Cancer Research Foundation! Deb McNaughton, who has already raised $8,500 for cancer research, has begun a social challenge for 2014 called “Live a Little”.

After one week, Deb has already raised over $2,000 towards her $5,000 goal.

The basic idea around the “Live a Little” 2014 challenge is to do something you wouldn’t usually do; something out of the ordinary.

Deb explains that people who want to take part in the challenge can make it extreme or simple, crazy or kind, scary or funny, ridiculous or revolting. Most of all…they need to MAKE IT COUNT!

If you’re interested in living a little and getting involved in the “Live a Little 2014 Challenge” here’s what you can do:

  • Upload a photo/video of you (individual or group) ‘living a little’ to Facebook or Instagram.
  • Remember to tag with #livealittle
  • Donate to: http://give.everydayhero.com/au/live-a-little
  • Challenge/nominate as many friends as you like to make a difference and LIVE A LITTLE – because you can!

Get on board with the Live a Little challenge now and help fight cancer. A big thank you to Deb for creating this great fundraising challenge![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Norm “Bugs off” for the very last time.

1534775_722288464517659_156405772683906801_oThe Bug Off Cancer beetle that we’ve all come to love has, this week, set off on it’s very last Bug Off Cancer fundraising journey.

This time Norm and his support team have headed south to Tassy to take in the beautiful scenery of Australia’s apple isle, and for a whirlwind week of fundraising with the locals.

Before leaving home, Norm had already raised over $5,000 for cancer research in Australia and he hopes to reach $10,000 by the end of his journey. If he achieves his target, Norm’s total fundraising efforts will stand at almost $40,000!

Norm started his Bug Off Cancer fundraising mission five years ago when he decided he wanted to do something, anything, to help rid the world of this terrible disease.

Having lost both parents and other relatives to cancer over the years, and knowing others that have this insidious disease, Norm decided to combine his love of VW beetles with a fundraising idea and Bug Off Cancer was created.

As Norm travels back to Sydney we’d like to wish him all the best on this last leg of his journey and send out a massive congratulations for his efforts in fundraising such an incredible amount for cancer research in Australia.

The ACRF is always proud of, and very humbled by, our fundraisers and their dedication to support such a cause. To Norm, we thank you for everything you have done to help the ACRF fight cancer and wish the Bug Off Cancer Beetle a very happy retirement![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Team ACRF takes on Blackmores Sydney Running Festival

cancer fun runMore than 34,000 runners and walkers flooded over the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge on Sunday 21 September to take on the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival events.

The ACRF was humbled that 400 of those people were participating in support of cancer research. They were running in memory or support of loved ones, and tackling the challenge of either the full or half marathons or enjoying the atmosphere and scenery of the shorter bridge and family funs.

Together, our amazing supporters have generated over $40,000 for cancer research in Australia at the Blackmores event and we are so very grateful for the dedication and massive support we have received!

Our highest fundraisers for the event included Nikki and Joey, who ran for cancer research in memory of a very close friend, Sarah. Sarah recently passed away from a rare type of bone cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma .

The girls set themselves the gruelling challenge of running the half-marathon course in Sarah’s memory. Not only did they smash through the course but they also smashed their fundraising target, raising over an incredible $11,000!

Nikki and Joey represent so many wonderful runners, each of whom had an emotional reason to go the extra mile. We thank them so very much for their dedication and support. We’re incredibly humbled.

Along with our amazing runners we also had 15 volunteers who arrived at the crack of dawn to help the event run by setting-up and manning the drinks station.

We’d like to send a big thank you to our volunteers, including our teams from the UNSW Volunteer Army and corporate supporters Excelian, Makinson d’Apice and Leighton.

We hope you had a memorable and most enjoyable day![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Cancer scientists can now explain a third of the inherited risk of prostate cancer

tao-research-mainAn exciting discovery during a major international study has revealed cancer scientists can now identify men at a 6-fold increased risk of prostate cancer.

Cancer scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, together with researchers in Cambridge, and California found 23 new genetic variants associated with increased risk of the disease.

The study means that scientists can now explain 33% of the inherited origins of prostate cancer in European men and will contribute to determining whether these genetic markers can improve on other tests for the disease.

Professor Ros Eeles, Professor of Oncogenetics at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Oncology at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, said, “Our study tells us more about the effect of the genetic hand that men are dealt on their risk of prostate cancer.

“We know that there are a few major genes that are rare and significantly affect prostate cancer risk, but what we are now learning is that there are many other common genetic variants that individually have only a small effect on risk, but collectively can be very important.”

They are now investigating whether genetic testing could help diagnose more men at risk of developing dangerous forms of prostate cancer that need urgent treatment – something that the current test is unable to determine.

“Building on previous research, this study gives a more complete list of these factors, bringing us closer to knowing who may need screening for prostate cancer and which men may benefit from early treatment. More work needs to be done, but identifying these genetic factors will allow us to better understand the disease and maybe even develop new treatments,” said Professor Eeles.

In Australia, 22,000 men die from cancer every year and one in two Australian men will get cancer in their lifetime – that’s 20% more men than women who will be touched by this terrible disease.

This September is Blue September, an annual campaign that encourages all Australians to face up to cancer in men and promotes research into men’s cancers.

If you are able to make a donation to men’s cancer research this September and help speed up research discoveries like this, we thank you so very much.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Tattoo for Cancer – Raising Money for Cancer Research

Thirroul tattoo artist Wayne Cartwright had long been keen to do something for charity, and after going over his own experiences with cancer he came up with a unique way to raise money for cancer research.

Tattoo for Cancer

His unconventional cancer fundraising event, Tattoo for Cancer, was held last Sunday at Soul Expression with Wayne and four fellow skin artists donating their time to ink courageous volunteers with a cancer inspired tattoo. Together, they raised an incredible $10,000 for the ACRF.

Wayne, the owner of Soul Expression, said interest leading up to the event had been immense with many people eager to get a permanent ode to their cancer experience.

“It’s a very emotional subject for a lot of people. I’ve done plenty of similar tattoos in the past and they always have so much meaning.” Wayne said.

“It could be someone who has been touched by cancer or a survivor and they get the tattoo to remind them of their journey; it’s often their first tattoo and the most important.”

The local community rallied behind the event with a local butcher donating 800 sausages for the day and, along with the skin artists working hard to get through as many tattoos as they could, many retailers donated prizes for the silent auction and raffle.

Wayne reassured all those that missed out not to worry as the massive turnout meant that hopefully they can do it again next year on an even bigger scale!

A huge thank you and congratulations to Wayne and everyone who contributed to the day! We’re so very grateful for your efforts and support.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Nikki and Joey – Fundraising for a Friend

Here at ACRF we are extremely humbled to have such fantastic and loyal supporters that continue to go above andNikki_Joey_Sarah_Web beyond in their efforts to raise money for cancer research. Sadly, many of our supporters have been touched by cancer personally, and their heartbreak and grief are what drives them to make a difference in the hope that nobody has to experience what they’ve gone through.

We’re incredibly humbled to share with you Nikki and Joey’s story – a story which has driven two ladies to fight cancer through research, in memory of their friend.

Last year Nikki and Joey met Sarah, a girl from America who was interning at Baseball Australia, where Nikki worked. The three girls hit it off instantly. Sarah was bubbly, happy and had a zest for life.

After returning home to Philadelphia, Sarah was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma – a rare type of bone cancer that usually occurs in children and young adults.

“It was such a shock when we found out and it made us want to make a difference, even if it was small,” Nikki and Joey wrote when they found out about Sarah’s cancer.

“Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer and there is still so much more research to be done. Sarah is a strong individual and we know she will kick cancers butt.”

The girls set themselves the challenge of running the half marathon in the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival in September, and they’ve already smashed their fundraising efforts by more than doubling their target so far. Feel free to click on the above link to view their fundraising page and add a message of support.

In the midst of their training, Nikki planned to visit Sarah in Philadelphia to boost her spirits while she was receiving treatment. However in a heartbreaking turn of events, Sarah’s condition deteriorated and she passed away a few days before Nikki arrived. At her funeral, Nikki met all of Sarah’s family and friends and through her grief decided that she wanted to plan another event to raise as much money as possible for cancer research.

Together with their Mum, Nikki and Joey are now busily organising their fundraising event for next month, so keep your eyes on our Events Calendar where we’ll bring you all the details of the night very soon. We’d like to thank Nikki and Joey for sharing this story with us, and send our condolences for their terrible loss.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Help fight cancer this National Science Week by hosting a Schools Against Cancer event

FundraisingThis week is National Science Week and the perfect opportunity for your school to fundraise for cancer research!

Running until 24th September, National Science Week is an annual celebration of Australia’s ground-breaking work in science and technology, including breakthroughs in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Australian scientists are often at the forefront of cancer science discoveries, such as the development of the HPV vaccine, which has been proven to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.

The ACRF is dedicated to funding world-class research into treatments, diagnosis and cures for cancer. Your school or class can show support for the important work of researchers and scientists by holding a Schools Against Cancer event – and help fund the next big cancer breakthrough!

We have a number of great ideas for fundraising events. For example, you could conduct some fun science experiments in the classroom with ACRF-supplied props, or hold a Scientists & Superheroes mufti day. You could also combine fundraising with cancer education by holding a Mad Hat Day and promoting the importance of sun protection. Click here for more inspiration, or come up with your own ideas!

If you’re interested in holding a Schools Against Cancer event during National Science Week, please contact our Schools Against Cancer Coordinator, Kamille Araya.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Charity Challenge supports cancer research

P8070001Last week, guests from leading beverage company and long-term ACRF supporter Lion Co. took part in a Hidden Door Charity Challenge, where they completed a series of challenges to earn funds for the ACRF while also working towards their annual corporate team building aims.

During the 3 hour event, the teams battled throughout Sydney in a fun and competitive afternoon that included a mystery brand food taste, testing their knowledge in with lateral thinking brain teasers and showing off their moves in an 80’s-inspired dance challenge!

Charity Challenges are a fun way for businesses to support cancer research as well as staff engagement and at the ACRF we have a number of challenge options. Regular team-building exercises have been proven to improve staff motivation and mood by promoting skills in leadership, negotiation and analysis. They also encourage staff bonding and create a positive atmosphere.

We have partnered with Hidden Door to provide ‘Amazing Race’ style Charity Challenges, where teams convert points into donations for cancer research, and the mouth-watering Wholefood Cook Off culinary experience. Click here to sign up or find out more about our Hidden Door Charity Challenges.

If you or your company are looking for something a little more adventurous, check out our International Charity Challenges or our Fitness Charity Challenges.[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_fade” interval=”0″ images=”22332,22337,22336,22335,22333,22334,22331,22330,22338″ onclick=”link_image” custom_links_target=”_self” img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

ACRF runners raise over $115K at City2Surf 2014!

IMG_3283It’s one of our favourite events of the year: the Sun Herald City2Surf – and it took place on Sunday, with more than 80,000 runners hitting the streets of Sydney for this spirited community race.

Thanks to the amazing work of 270 runners, Team ACRF has had its most successful City2Surf ever, raising over $115,000 towards cutting-edge cancer research! We’re overwhelmed by the generosity of our supporters – and hope they’ll take the chance to grab a few final donations with fundraising pages open for another four weeks.

Many of team ACRF’s runners have been affected by cancer. One supporter in particular, Fi, ran in support of her best friend Glenno, who is battling advanced melanoma. Fi is a cancer survivor herself, having been diagnosed with colorectal cancer four years’ ago.

Fi told us that she ran for Glenno because the challenge of Heartbreak Hill was nothing compared to what Glenno faces and she wanted to support him in any way possible. Fi has so far raised over $3,500 for cancer search.

As well as many new runners, we were thrilled to welcome back The Shirl’s Girls running team and David Griffith’s Ann’s Angels.

After running the gruelling 14km, our top supporters were treated to a BBQ at the exclusive ACRF beach chalet, which was sponsored by Steggles. Complimentary massages were also on offer, perfect for post-race relaxation.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the City2Surf or supported a friend, co-worker or family member, without you this incredible achievement would not have been possible!

We hope you all had a fun and enjoyable experience – check out our photos from the day![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_fade” interval=”0″ images=”22257,22258,22259,22260,22261,22262,22264,22265,22266,22267,22268,22269,22270,22271,22272,22273,22274,22275,22276,22277,22278,22279,22280,22281,22282″ onclick=”link_image” custom_links_target=”_self” img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

July News 2014

JulyNewsletterJuly 2014 Newsletter

In the July edition:

  • New targeted research could offer alternative treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
  • The search for early markers of brain cancer is supported with ACRF funding
  • James Robson takes on the Iron Man challenge in support of cancer research
  • ACRF golf day tees up fundraising success

ACRF Charity Golf Day tees up fundraising success!

golf_dayThe ACRF has held its annual Charity Golf Day, giving businesses and supporters a chance to tee up a day of friendly competition for a great cause! The event took place at the exclusive New South Wales Golf Club in La Perouse, which offered stunning views, undulating fairways and challenging greens.

The Charity Golf Day had a fantastic turnout – 65 people participated, with a great mix of individual fundraisers and corporate teams. A pod of dolphins even turned up off the coast! Competition was fierce but friendly, with over $16,000 raised from day in support of world-class cancer research.

Congratulations to David Archer’s team, which came first and have vowed to return in 2015 to defend their title. Individuals Michael Milakovic won the trophy for Nearest to Pin and Todd Archer for Longest Drive.

We would like to thank everyone who took part – to our long-term supporters such as David Archer, Goodman Group and Lion Co., and to our new friends whom we hope to see again in the very near future.

Our silent auction is open for another week. Please register and continue the bidding! http://galabid.com/auction/acrfgolf[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_fade” interval=”0″ images=”22133,22134,22138,22139,22140,22142,22143,22144,22145,22146,22147,22148″ onclick=”link_image” custom_links_target=”_self” img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

World No Tobacco Day

134128418-Quit-smoking_51ae76fa8dbbb-300x199Every 31st of May, The World Health Organisation (WHO) marks World No Tobacco Day, to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use, and advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

Tobacco kills nearly six million people each year, of which more than 600 000 are non-smokers succumbing to second-hand smoke.

Lung cancer, which can be associated with smoking tobacco, is one of the most common causes of cancer death for men and women in Australia.

Continue reading “World No Tobacco Day”

ACRF supporters Run For A Reason and raise over $70,000!

From the serious runners to The Incredible Hulk, thousands of runners hit the pavement to take part in the fifth annual HBF Run For A Reason in Perth on Sunday.

A record number of people took part with nearly 30,000 runners – some in costume, others decked out in t-shirts displaying the faces or names of loved ones they were running for – taking on the 4km and 12km courses.

The ACRF was lucky enough to have 104 runners support cancer research in Australia, with team ACRF raising over $70,000! We would like to send a big thank you to all of our fundraisers for all their hard work and fundraising efforts!

Continue reading “ACRF supporters Run For A Reason and raise over $70,000!”

ACRF Canberra supporters tour the John Curtin School of Medical Research

Last week our valued supporters in Canberra attended an afternoon tour of the esteemed John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR).

Our 27 guests were treated to a lovely afternoon tea, where they heard from respected ACRF board member, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston AC AFC (ret’d) as well as head of the Cancer and Vascular Biology Group, at JCSMR, and 2014 Canberra Citizen of the Year, Professor Chris Parish.

Our supporters were then split into two groups and taken on a tour around the John Curtin School of Medical Research.

Continue reading “ACRF Canberra supporters tour the John Curtin School of Medical Research”

Skin Cancer Prevention – Promising Results

A study by researchers at Brisbane’s QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute has revealed some very promising statistics about one of Australia’s most deadly cancers – Melanoma.

With an estimated 12,000 people diagnosed with melanoma in 2012 it is Australia’s third most common cancer type.

The study, which analysed melanoma cases among 15 to 24 year olds in Queensland from 1982 to 2010, has shown there has been a five per cent a year decline among teenagers and young adults developing the disease from the mid-1990s to 2010.

Additionally, for people aged 20 to 24, the rate has fallen from 25 cases per 100,000 in 1996 to 14 per 100,000 in 2010.

Continue reading “Skin Cancer Prevention – Promising Results”

Half marathon runners raise over $83K for cancer research in Aus!

12,000 runners hit the pavement on Sunday for the 23rd annual Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon

Competitors, geared up for their 21.1 km journey, were seen off by official event ambassador Stephanie Rice, who fired the starting gun.

Runners were presented with a beautiful morning in Sydney as they raced, jogged or walked their way from St Mary’s Cathedral, past some of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks including the Royal Botanic Gardens, Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation was lucky enough to have 83 dedicated runners choose to be a part of the ACRF Half marathon team! And what a fantastic job they all did!

Continue reading “Half marathon runners raise over $83K for cancer research in Aus!”

ACRF welcomes distinguished scientist and businessman, Dr. Ian Brown, as new CEO

Today we are very excited to announce the appointment of distinguished scientist and businessman, Dr Ian Brown, as the new leader of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

Dr Brown will succeed long-serving CEO David Brettell who retires from ACRF on 10 July 2014.

Dr. Brown was the former CEO and Managing Director of the highly successful Clover Corporation, which focused on bio-delivery systems for nutritionally important ingredients and which is publicly listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Chairman of the ACRF, Mr. Tom Dery said, “Dr. Brown comes to us with considerable international experience.  His business acumen will help take ACRF to another level and we’re tremendously excited by the potential to further accelerate our contribution to world-class cancer research. We look forward to building on our crucial role in funding scientific breakthroughs of the future”

Continue reading “ACRF welcomes distinguished scientist and businessman, Dr. Ian Brown, as new CEO”

Newly-discovered gene linked to oesophageal cancer leads to potential new treatments

A newly-discovered gene linked to oesophageal cancer holds the promise of new treatments for this notoriously difficult-to-fight disease.

Researchers at Cambridge University in the UK have found a gene called TRIM44 which plays a key role in the development of oesophageal cancer. The discovery of this gene has also led to finding the disease’s key driver.

The new research has revealed that when multiple copies (called over-expressions) of the TRIM44 gene are found in a patient this leads to higher activity of the mTOR gene, which regulates cell growth and division – a process that, when uncontrolled, can lead to cancer.

Continue reading “Newly-discovered gene linked to oesophageal cancer leads to potential new treatments”

New leader for top Australian cancer research funding body

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) has appointed distinguished scientist and businessman Dr. Ian Brown as its new Chief Executive.

ACRF’s research grants, which will top the $100 million mark this year, have provided Australia’s best cancer scientists with the technologies, equipment and infrastructure needed to speed up discoveries and stay at the forefront of medical research.

ACRF Chairman Tom Dery said the foundation was thrilled to welcome Dr Brown who is currently an adjunct professor at Flinders University in Adelaide and special visiting professor at the University of Colorado in the US.

Continue reading “New leader for top Australian cancer research funding body”

ACRF hosts successful Corporate Social Responsibility breakfast event!

It’s all about creating shared value amongst stakeholders.

At least that was the topic of today’s successful Corporate Social Responsibility breakfast event with almost 50 corporate attendees looking forward to listening to this hot-topic discussion.

The ACRF was lucky enough to secure Deloitte’s Non-for-profit special group National Director, Tharani Jegatheeswaran, as the keynote speaker; as well as a panel discussion of leaders in the field of corporate philanthropy, including: Wendy Mason, Head of the Commonwealth Bank Foundation, Commonwealth Bank, Ro Coroneos, Manager, Community and Social Strategy, Barangaroo South, Lend Lease, Chris Drayton, Partner, Makinson & d’Apice Lawyers.

Continue reading “ACRF hosts successful Corporate Social Responsibility breakfast event!”

Saying thank you to our cancer charity volunteers during National Volunteer Week

This week we celebrate the power of volunteering with National Volunteer Week in Australia.

We would like to highlight the value our cancer charity volunteers bring to our communities and society. We are very thankful, humbled and honoured when members of our community, a group or a corporate partner chooses to dedicate their time and effort into volunteering for us.

Continue reading “Saying thank you to our cancer charity volunteers during National Volunteer Week”

Promising results in world-first trials for aggressive brain cancer treatment

A major breakthrough in the treatment of aggressive brain cancer called Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), using immunology has been made by scientists at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant brain cancer, diagnosed in about 800 Australians every year with, unfortunately very low five year survival rates.

The research used immunology to attack the cancer, and found that of the study participants lived much longer than the six-month prognosis normally given to a patient with recurrent GBM. Some patients showed no signs of disease progression at all.

Continue reading “Promising results in world-first trials for aggressive brain cancer treatment”

Have a Cuppa for Cancer and help fund research into prevention, diagnosis and cures!

This month, why not get a group together for a morning (or afternoon) tea party and support world-class cancer research?

With cancer being labelled the world’s number one killer – affecting people of all ages and backgrounds, the ACRF is often approached by community groups who wish to raise funds for cancer research.

We are humbled and motivated by this dedication and so we’ve thought of a fun and inspirational way you and your community group can join in the fight against all cancers – and the Cuppa for Cancer event was born!

Continue reading “Have a Cuppa for Cancer and help fund research into prevention, diagnosis and cures!”

Mother’s Day gift ideas for mum

We’ve got the perfect solution for those of you looking for Mother’s Day gift ideas that will make mum feel incredibly special!

With Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, why not consider a Mother’s Day gift to cancer research? – It’s the perfect way to celebrate life and give new hope for the future.

This Mother’s Day gift is so simple – all you need to do is make a donation in lieu of gifts for your Mum. This way, your donation will go to research that has the power to beat all types of cancer, bringing new hope to cancer patients and their families around the world.

Continue reading “Mother’s Day gift ideas for mum”

Hidden Door challenges help cancer research through corporate charity donations!

It’s all about engaging businesses with their most valuable assets; their staff and their clients. And with the ACRF partnering with leadership and development company, Hidden Door, our corporate supporters can achieve this while delivering on their corporate social responsibility goals.

Hidden Door allows organisations to provide corporate charity donations to world-class class cancer research in Australia through a fun, engaging and beneficial program customised specifically for their staff.

The ACRF and Hidden Door have joined together to bring two great programs which, by raising corporate charity donations, will provide your team with a sense of pride while teaching them great leadership and team building skills.

Continue reading “Hidden Door challenges help cancer research through corporate charity donations!”

Streetsmart Marketing helps “Secure the future” for cancer research in Australia!

Strength in Numbers“Secure the Future” was a three day super-conference that took place in February in Sydney and Brisbane. In a massive act of generosity, the event organisers donated the cost of the base ticketing price to world-class cancer research in Australia!

Mal Emery, CEO of Streetsmart Marketing and Co-Founder of “StreetSmart Business School” chose the Australian Cancer Research Foundation as the beneficiary of this event and has raised an incredible $70,000 through ticket sales, to help in the fight against cancer.

Continue reading “Streetsmart Marketing helps “Secure the future” for cancer research in Australia!”

Community set to brew a world record for charity

Local beer lovers will be gathering together this Sunday as a potential world record is set to be brewed in Brunswick, Melbourne.

The Thunder Road Brewing Company will be holding its third community day this Sunday, May 4 and this time will have a charity brew to raise money for the Australian Cancer Research ­Foundation.

Anyone who wants to try their hand as a brewer, members of the community and all-round beer lovers can come along on the day and, for a $10 donation, help with tasks including grinding the malt, adding hops and temperature control.

Continue reading “Community set to brew a world record for charity”

Monster raffle and sausage sizzle brings community together for research

Natasha Tiedt has astounded us with what can only be achieved by the power of the community.

Together with her colleagues at Lynch’s Pub in Narooma, NSW, Natasha has organised a fantastic cancer fundraising raffle and sausage sizzle – rallying families and businesses within the community to contribute an incredibly generous $7,400+ for world-class cancer research!

Natasha instigated the monster raffle event to raise funds for world-class cancer research in Australia after seeing members of her own family and the Lynch’s Pub family and patrons fight various battles with cancer.

Continue reading “Monster raffle and sausage sizzle brings community together for research”

Powerful predictor discovered for aggressive breast cancers will ensure more effective treatment

A new, more powerful predictor for aggressive breast cancers, discovered by Dr Fares Al-Ejeh at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, will give women a more accurate prognosis and ensure they are receiving the most effective treatment for their breast-cancer type.

Every woman’s breast cancer has its own individual gene fingerprint – a specific combination of genes. Dr Al-Ejeh’s research has found new gene “signatures” which can predict likely survival across breast cancer cases.

Continue reading “Powerful predictor discovered for aggressive breast cancers will ensure more effective treatment”

10-year trial of melanoma vaccine shows most promising outcomes to date

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have discovered a new trial vaccine which offers the most promising treatment to date for advanced melanoma.

Known as ‘vaccinia melanoma cell lysate’ (VMCL), this new trial treatment was given regularly to 54 South Australian patients with advanced, inoperable melanoma over a 10-year period. The vaccine has been found to increase patient survival rates, with the ability to stop or reverse the cancer in some patients.

Continue reading “10-year trial of melanoma vaccine shows most promising outcomes to date”

International marathon season has kicked off!

We’ve just finished cheering on our group of amazing runners as they took on the streets of Paris and London for their epic marathon charity challenges. Together, they raised over $70,000 for world-class cancer research – incredible!!

Now, having witness some of the buzz, marathon runners all over the world are gearing up to secure a spot in next year’s international marathons.

Places for both the London and Paris Marathon are hard to come by. Last year the London Marathon ballot closed in record time, after 125,000 applications were received in less than 12 hours. Only 40,000 odd will get selected to take on the exciting course.

Continue reading “International marathon season has kicked off!”

Claire loses her luscious red locks for cancer research

When your hair is almost long enough to sit on, it’s a big deal to trim an inch or two let alone shave it all off!

However, Claire Purio from Fremantle did just that. She took a number 2 razer to her long red hair at the Mt Claremont Famers Market on March 22, and through this brave gesture of support for her father, who is still grieving the loss of his mother, Claire raised almost $3,500 for cancer research.

Claire’s story into why she is shaving her head is incredibly touching.

Continue reading “Claire loses her luscious red locks for cancer research”

#NoMakeUpSelfie campaign for cancer research

In just a few days we were overwhelmed with support for the #NoMakeUpSelfie campaign for cancer research. The power of social media is incredible!

In just over a week the #NoMakeUpSelfie supporters helped raise over $25,000 for cancer research in Australia!

The #NoMakeUpSelfie campaign for cancer research was one of the biggest viral social media campaigns for 2014. Women all over the world are posting makeup-free selfies online with the hashtag #nomakeupselfie, before making a donation to cancer research, and spreading the word by nominating their friends to do the same.

The campaign started over in the UK with Cancer Research UK using the movement to raise vital dollars for cancer research – and now it has reached Australian shores!

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Fighting cancer during NSW Seniors Week

Saturday 15 March to Sunday 23 March marks NSW Seniors Week, during which we are getting in touch with a very special group of people who are fighting cancer as volunteers, donors and supporters!

NSW Senior’s Week is an annual celebration featuring hundreds of events held across NSW by government, community and commercial organisations.

There’s something new for everyone to enjoy – art, technology, entertainment, health, wellbeing, sport and of course, giving to charity! One of the highlights of the week is the Seniors Week Expo held at the Qantas Credit Union Arena (The Entertainment Centre) which includes the Premier’s Gala Concerts and expo stalls.

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Birthday fundraiser sees Rob Kendall, 76, take the plunge for cancer research!

Free falling through the air at almost 200km per hour isn’t everybody’s cup of tea.

However, ACRF supporter and cancer survivor, Robert Kendall, on 15 March, will be conquering his fear of heights and skydiving for cancer research.

Robert will also be doing this in celebration of his 76th birthday!

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Help fund cancer research through an international charity challenge!

Achieve something you never thought possible, and help cancer scientists to fight cancer, by funding cancer research through an international charity challenge!

In 2015 The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has linked up with World Expeditions to bring you four amazing and life changing charity challenges that will test you physically, emotionally and of course, support the search for cancer cures.

We’ve got 3 trekking charity challenges and one cycling charity challenge located across the globe, with our first option located a little more close to home.

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International Women’s Day: celebrating the women who help bring us closer to the cancer cures!

Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate their achievements for International Women’s Day.

Here, at the ACRF, we want to acknowledge the amazing and inspirational women who are on our Board of Trustees and our world-class Medical Research Advisory Committee (MRAC) and showcase their fantastic work.

Each of these women is not only extremely successful in their field but are also helping us inch ever closer towards finding the cancer cures through their involvement with the ACRF.

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Make the most of your City2Surf by setting up an Online Fundraising campaign!

Everything is going digital nowadays and that includes fundraising for your chosen cancer charity!

Online fundraising is a simple, easy and effective way to raise funds and engage with potential donors.

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has partnered up with a number of online fundraising portals, such as Everyday Hero and GoFundraise, to make your online fundraising experience as easy as possible.

With the 2014 City2Surf general entries opening up today, why not make your run even more meaningful by opening up an online fundraising page and sharing it with your family and friends?

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David Blumenthal smashes the Melbourne Half-Ironman Challenge!

ACRF supporter, David Blumenthal, has tackled one of his biggest challenges yet – the Challenge Melbourne Half Ironman, on one of the hottest days in Melbourne this year – a scorching 41 degrees!

A far cry from the raining, cool weather of last year’s Paris Marathon, this fundraising challenge took place in summer heat so severe that the race organisers advised that there would be a good chance the race will be called off for those not finished by 12:30pm.

At this point David was faced with a decision: take an easier challenge due to the weather, or brave the scorching conditions and power through the full Half-Ironman Challenge of 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and 21.1km run!

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David Blumenthal smashes the Melbourne Half-Ironman Challenge!

ACRF supporter, David Blumenthal, has tackled one of his biggest challenges yet – the Challenge Melbourne Half Ironman, on one of the hottest days in Melbourne this year – a scorching 41 degrees!

A far cry from the raining, cool weather of last year’s Paris Marathon, this fundraising challenge took place in summer heat so severe that the race organisers advised that there would be a good chance the race will be called off for those not finished by 12:30pm.

At this point David was faced with a decision: take an easier challenge due to the weather, or brave the scorching conditions and power through the full Half-Ironman Challenge of 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and 21.1km run!

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Show how much you care with a Valentine’s Day donation

With Valentine’s Day coming up this Friday, we’re sure most of you have already wrapped up a lovely gift, organised a delivery of a roses, booked in a dinner or organised a special surprise for your Valentine.

After all, Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate and cherish the special person you care about most, whether they know it or not!

However, if you’re still wracking your brain for a gift that has meaning but is also original, why not look into truly spreading the love and giving a gift that has the power to change the world?

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Show how much you care with a Valentine’s Day donation

With Valentine’s Day coming up this Friday, we’re sure most of you have already wrapped up a lovely gift, organised a delivery of a roses, booked in a dinner or organised a special surprise for your Valentine.

After all, Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate and cherish the special person you care about most, whether they know it or not!

However, if you’re still wracking your brain for a gift that has meaning but is also original, why not look into truly spreading the love and giving a gift that has the power to change the world?

Continue reading “Show how much you care with a Valentine’s Day donation”

Scott Eastburn sets an epic physical challenge for 2014!

Scott Eastburn is back on his cancer fundraising mission. Having set himself the challenge of competing in one of the most famous international marathons – the London Marathon – last year, Scott has again pledge to help fight cancer through a series of physical challenges.

In 2014, Scott will be participating in 20 endurance events – 14 of which will be marathons throughout Australia, New Zealand, France and England!

Scott is calling this his “20:14 in 2014 Challenge” and has already kicked it off by completing the Cadbury Marathon down in Hobart.

Continue reading “Scott Eastburn sets an epic physical challenge for 2014!”

Scott Eastburn sets an epic physical challenge for 2014!

Scott Eastburn is back on his cancer fundraising mission. Having set himself the challenge of competing in one of the most famous international marathons – the London Marathon – last year, Scott has again pledge to help fight cancer through a series of physical challenges.

In 2014, Scott will be participating in 20 endurance events – 14 of which will be marathons throughout Australia, New Zealand, France and England!

Scott is calling this his “20:14 in 2014 Challenge” and has already kicked it off by completing the Cadbury Marathon down in Hobart.

Continue reading “Scott Eastburn sets an epic physical challenge for 2014!”

Ovarian Cancer Awareness month kicks off with significant discovery

We begin Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month with news of fantastic progress by researchers at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), who have made significant headway into understanding one of the deadliest forms of the disease.

These Aussie cancer scientists have identified two enzymes that make serous ovarian cancer resistant to chemotherapy, and can be targeted to improve treatment results.

Serous ovarian cancer is generally an aggressive type of cancer. Due to its location it can move quickly from the ovaries to the abdominal cavity where it then spreads throughout the body quite rapidly.

Continue reading “Ovarian Cancer Awareness month kicks off with significant discovery”

Ovarian Cancer Awareness month kicks off with significant discovery

We begin Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month with news of fantastic progress by researchers at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), who have made significant headway into understanding one of the deadliest forms of the disease.

These Aussie cancer scientists have identified two enzymes that make serous ovarian cancer resistant to chemotherapy, and can be targeted to improve treatment results.

Serous ovarian cancer is generally an aggressive type of cancer. Due to its location it can move quickly from the ovaries to the abdominal cavity where it then spreads throughout the body quite rapidly.

Continue reading “Ovarian Cancer Awareness month kicks off with significant discovery”

This World Cancer Day we pledge to help debunk the myths!

February 4 is a day where we have the chance to raise our collective voices in the name of improving our understanding of cancer: of getting to know the risks and, importantly, overcoming misconceptions about this terrible disease.

World Cancer Day is an international movement held at the same time every year and is an opportunity for the entire world to join together in the fight against cancer.

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Brisbane Broncos legends hit the softball diamond to play for a cure

When it comes to raising funds for a good cause, NRL Broncos legends Allan Langer, Darren Lockyer, Kevin Walters, Gorden Tallis, Ben Ikin and Shane Webcke are ready to step off the footy field and into a whole new ball game.

An exciting softball event, hosted by the Play for a Cure Foundation, will see the Brisbane Broncos stars go head-to-head with a team of seasoned Softball stars.

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Streetsmart Marketing aims to raise 100K for cancer research in Australia

In a massive act of generosity, “Secure the Future”, a three day super-conference, is donating its base ticketing price to world-class cancer research in Australia!

Mal Emery, CEO of Streetsmart Marketing and Co-Founder “StreetSmart Business School” chose the Australian Cancer Research Foundation as the beneficiary of this event due to his very humbling experiences with cancer.

“Like most people, my company StreetSmart Business School has been touched by cancer – deeply,” Mal told us.

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The Fatman’s Great Aussie Trek from Geelong to Cairns comes to an end!

Brendon had always dreamt about walking around Australia.

After seeing a man and woman walking along the road in his home town for charity he was inspired to do the same. Five weeks later Brendon and his faithful dog, Jojo, set out on “The Fatman’s Great Aussie Trek”!

Weighing in at just over 145kgs, Brendon felt it was time to do something about his health – while also giving to a cause that would help the health of others.

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