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.

Starving cells could treat one of Australia’s deadliest diseases

Australia has the highest rate of melanoma, globally. It is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and is the third most common cancer type in Australia.

But Australian researchers at the Centenary Institute have bought hope to this statistic through the discovery that we could potentially treat, and even cure, melanoma by cutting off its food source.

Last year the same team of researchers, led by Professor Jeff Holst, showed they could starve prostate cancer cells. This discovery has opened up the prospect of a class of drugs that could treat a range of cancers, including melanoma, in the same way.

Continue reading “Starving cells could treat one of Australia’s deadliest diseases”

Cancer researchers find prostate cancer “Achilles Heel” and move closer to a new treatment

An international group of scientists from Australia and Canada are getting closer to a new treatment for prostate cancer that works by starving tumours of an essential nutrient.

Dr Jeff Holst from Sydney’s Centenary Institute, and his colleagues from Adelaide, Brisbane and Vancouver have shown they can slow the growth of prostate cancer by stopping the protein ‘leucine’ from being pumped into tumour cells.

Leucine is involved in cell division and making proteins. It ‘feeds’ cell growth by being pumped through ‘protein pumps’ on the surface of our cells.

In 2011, Dr Holst and his colleagues showed that prostate cancer cells have more ‘protein pumps’ on their surface compared with normal cells. These pumps are allowing the cancer cell to take in more leucine, thereby stimulating overactive cell division.

Continue reading “Cancer researchers find prostate cancer “Achilles Heel” and move closer to a new treatment”

From trash to treasure: Junk DNA and its role in Cell Development

97% of human DNA that was previously considered ‘Junk’ could hold the key to finding new therapies for cancer, according to new research published in the prestigious ‘Cell’ journal.

Junk DNA is characterised by genes which don’t encode proteins, and it has long been overlooked in medical research because of this reason (proteins have been considered the most important biochemical component of cells).

However, using the latest gene sequencing techniques and analysis, a team led by Royal Prince Alfred (RPA) Hospital’s Professor John Rasko AO, together with Centenary’s Head of Bioinformatics Dr William Ritchie, have shown that particular white blood cells do use Junk DNA to regulate a group of genes that controls cell shape and function.

Continue reading “From trash to treasure: Junk DNA and its role in Cell Development”

Prime Minister Julia Gillard recognises the vision and foresight of the ACRF

Fighting cancer by funding researchThe ACRF is proud to have played a key role in a world-class collaborative venture that will see Sydney’s next comprehensive cancer centre come to fruition; promising personalised, targeted treatment and care for cancer patients of the very near future.

The new Centenary Institute – Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Cancer Research Centre will be a land-mark development, kick-started by $5 million in ACRF funding (the equal largest ACRF grant ever awarded).

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has generously recognised the vision of the ACRF in seed-funding this state-of-the-art cancer facility. She states:

“… the Centenary Institute-Chris O’Brien Cancer Research Centre is so important as we seek to better understand and treat this insidious disease.

“But the Centre will only flourish through the generosity of its supporters, and so I warmly congratulate the Australian Cancer Research Foundation for its donation of $5 million, a remarkable act of philanthropy.”

Please click on the image right to view the full statement.

Queen’s Birthday Honours List acknowledges four incredible Australians for their services to cancer research

Order of Australia AC Professor Ian Frazer
Professor Ian Frazer. Source: The Australian

 The Australian Cancer Research Foundation would like to congratulate the following four Australians on their appointment to the Order of Australia yesterday via the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. We are so proud and humbled to have the support of these incredible Australians in various aspects of our work:

Professor Ian Frazer, awarded Companion (AC) in the general division: Professor Frazer has been recognised for eminent service to medical research, particularly through leadership roles in the discovery of the human papilloma virus vaccine and its role in preventing cervical cancer. His services to higher education and charitable organisations (Professor Frazer is currently Chairman of the ACRF Medical Research Advisory Committee) have also been acknowledged with this award. Continue reading “Queen’s Birthday Honours List acknowledges four incredible Australians for their services to cancer research”

Stem cell breakthrough – great news for cancer patients

CI_logoSydney researchers this week revealed a stem cell research breakthrough that will have a massive impact for cancer sufferers requiring bone marrow transplants.

Publishing the results in the esteemed biotechnology journal Nature Biotechnology, lead author Professor John Rasko and his team from Centenary Institute have found, for the first time, a way of growing an increasing number of blood-forming stem cells outside the body.

Patients who receive stem cell transplants for various conditions or treatments, including leukaemia or chemotherapy, could soon expect significantly improved outcomes thanks to the landmark finding by the research team at the Centenary Institute, Royal Prince Alfred (RPA) Hospital and the University of Sydney.

Stem cell transplants are vital for treating cancer patients who have had their bone marrow destroyed by chemotherapy. Continue reading “Stem cell breakthrough – great news for cancer patients”