University of Tasmania

  • Research Institute: University of Tasmania

  • Amount granted: $0.05 million

  • Year granted: 1998

ACRF provided the grant to the University of Tasmania’s Medical School to purchase an advanced confocal laser microscope system. The Confocal Laser Microscope will be used to study denditric cells which is an important element of the immunology system regulating how the body responds to cancer.

Achievements

Investigation of cellular events associated with cancer and the body’s defence system. Both ultraviolet light (UVB) and chemical carcinogens alter the skin giving rise not only to the cancerous process but an alteration in the local body defence system. This has implications for the emergence of cancer cells and their ultimate spread. A key finding in this area is that carcinogens alter the local immune system so that rather than developing positive immune responses against cancer cells, immune mechanisms occur which allow cancerous cells to grow.

Studies of defence cells and how they handle foreign material in a different way to mature normal adult dendritic cells. While these observations provide insights into the basic alterations in skin cancer, they also give potential focal points of manipulation to redirect the immune response in skin cancer.

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