Lung cancer is the leading cause of death due to cancer in Australia. One in 20 men and 1 in 47 women will develop lung cancer in their lifetime. Unfortunately, once diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, patients only tend to live a few months.
Early detection methods such as chest x-ray or CT scan do not appear to have much impact on either treatment or number of deaths, therefore, more research is needed in other aspects of lung cancer.
Our project study will aim to identify potential defects in the immune response of lung cancer patients compared to healthy patients. The specific defects identified in this study will allow us to potentially manipulate the immune system via novel treatments that could potentially prolong life expectancy and decrease mortality associated with this disease.
Specific outcomes of this project are to identify which aspects of the function of pulmonary macrophages is defected. Pulmonary macrophages are the main cells in the lung which engulf foreign particles and dead cells. They are an important part of the immune system for defense against cancer and potential infections in the lung.
Professor Vasso Apostolopoulos, Dr Dodie Pouniotis, A/Professor Christine McDonald
Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health
Research Grant: 2007