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$3.2 million to continue fight against cancer

Wednesday 28 May, 2014

An experiment that uses white blood cells to target breast cancer is one of 11 new research projects to share in $3.2 million from Cancer Council Victoria.

Cancer Council Victoria’s grants-in-aid program funds high-quality research projects into the treatment, causes, detection and prevention of all cancers. Other successful projects include:

  • A study into why some cells fail to destroy themselves when damaged or unnecessary, which can lead to cancer.
  • An exploration into the role a key molecule plays in the development of stomach cancer.
  • Research into why a particular gene, RBM5, is frequently deleted in lung cancer patients.

Grants-in-aid recipient Dr Daniel Park, of the University of Melbourne, said his team’s search for new genes that increase the risk of breast cancer would be limited without financial support from Cancer Council Victoria.

“We know that the presence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations influence the risk of cancer. This funding will allow us to look into other genes that, if they are shown to increase risk, could change the way we screen for breast cancer,” Dr Park said.

“The technology being used and genes being investigated in this study are all new so we are looking forward to getting started.”

Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper said since 2003 the charity had awarded more than $46 million to external researchers.

“For more than 60 years Cancer Council Victoria has been awarding fellowships and grants to encourage the very best in cancer research,” Mr Harper said.

“The projects announced today have been selected based on their excellence and relevance, and have the potential to impact all forms of cancer. They are also entirely donor funded, which highlights just how important our supporters are in helping us continue the fight against cancer.”

Cancer Council Victoria’s 2014 grants-in-aid recipients

Inflammation and cancer – $299,000 – Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Cell death and leukaemia – $300,000 – Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

The molecular basis of cancer development and drug resistance - $300,000 – Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Discovery of new colon cancer genes predictive for outcome – $300,000 – Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Defining the role of the RBM5 gene in lung cancer – $298,000 – Monash University

Discovering human breast cancer risk genes guided by prior publications on the mouse – $198,000 – University of Melbourne

Identifying new pathways driving cell growth which is fundamental to cancer initiation and progression – $300,000 – University of Melbourne

Treating cancer by arresting cancer cell growth – $300,000 – University of Melbourne

Upstream signalling in the Hippo tumour suppressor pathway – $300,000 – Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Turning the immune system against cancer – $300,000 – Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Role of the TLR2 gene in stomach cancer – $291,000 – Monash Institute of Medical Research