Global clinical trial shows promise for new lung cancer treatment

Young lung cancer patients in Victoria have become some of the first in the world to benefit from a new targeted therapy which has minimised tumours and improved symptoms in a Phase I clinical trial.

The global clinical trial tested 130 patients with a specific type of lung cancer, containing a change in a gene called ALK.

The ALK gene has been found to create “immortal” cells which never seem to switch off, meaning they are constantly in over-drive, growing and proliferating. A tablet therapy, called ceretinib works as an ALK inhibitor, shrinking tumours and resolving symptoms of the cancer.

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Cancer research partnership will improve treatments for patients

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

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

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

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

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

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Breakthrough in lung cancer research

Researchers at the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia (CCIA) are using the ACRF Drug Discovery Centre for Childhood Cancer to enhance a recent breakthrough in lung cancer research.

Every year more than 9,000 Australians are diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer. It is one of the most lethal forms of cancer. But while looking for ways to treat childhood solid cancer tumours, CCIA found a promising new therapy technique for lung cancer patients in Australia and throughout the world.

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Aussie scientists unravel colorectal cancer mystery

A team of scientists at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney has identified why some patients are able to respond to treatments better than others for colorectal cancer.

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Ashley completes the ride of his life!

In December 2005, Ashley Williams, supported by his manager and wife, Sian, cycled from his home in Townsville to Yulara in the Red Centre of Australia to raise funds for the ACRF. The ride was a personal tribute to his late father Sam, who lost his battle with lung cancer in 2004.

Ashley’s incredible journey spanned 17 days and 2566kms and with the help of many sponsors and individual supporters, he well exceeded his target of $2 per km he rode.

Ashley and Sian received a warm welcome at all of their pit stops, with the hospitality in each town varying from complimentary accommodation and meals to BBQ raffles, auctions and bingo nights to help raise funds.

“We were completely overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers,” said Sian.

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