$8 million research program to tackle one of Australia's fastest increasing cancers
$8 million research program to tackle one of Australia’s fastest increasing cancers
9 February 2009: Researchers from Sydney’s Centenary Institute have been awarded $8 million over five years to investigate the causes and treatment of liver cancer, the incidence of which has more than doubled in Australia in the past decade.
The National Health and Medical Research Council funding will support a collaborative Program bringing together five world-renowned researchers from three laboratories at Centenary to tackle this major health issue.
Centenary Institute Executive Director and grant recipient, Professor Mathew Vadas said “this Program grant is testament to Centenary’s comprehensive approach to cancer research”.
“The Program is designed to answer the three big questions in cancer – what causes cancer, why does cancer spread and how can we improve treatment?” Professor Vadas says. “We are applying this approach to liver cancer which is particularly difficult to diagnose in the early stages and treatment options are limited.”
Liver cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers in Australia and the global health burden is immense with more than 680,000 people dying each year.
The new research program at Centenary is unique in that it brings many collaborators with complementary expertise to focus one cancer. These are Prof Vadas, Prof McCaughan, Prof Gamble, A/Prof Xia and Dr Bertolino.
The Program will investigate the steps involved in the progression from chronic liver disease to liver cancer, including inflammation in the liver, changes in the vascular system and cell signalling events.
All will be looking to a common outcome – improved outcomes for liver cancer patients.
Professor Mathew Vadas says this multi-step approach on the project will be enormously beneficial.
“As scientists we cannot work in isolation and the key to scientific discovery is working with colleagues with different perspectives. One of the most exciting elements of this project is having us all in the same building. The intense daily interactions and debates this allows will create a breeding ground for new ideas and rapid progress.
The Centenary Institute is committed to this multidisciplinary approach to cancer research and clinical care.
“At Centenary, we are working on the establishment of a comprehensive cancer centre with funding from the Federal Government and the Australian Cancer Research Foundation. This new project emphasises our dedication to this all-encompassing approach to cancer care,” explains Professor Vadas.
“Liver cancer is a diverse and complex disease so it is imperative that we tackle the issue from all angles as we are in this new program. The ultimate benefits will be to cancer patients and health systems around the world through improved treatments.” says Professor Geoff McCaughan, Assistant Director at Centenary and head of its Liver Immunobiology lab.
For more information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Mathew Vadas or Professor Geoff McCaughan please contact:
Sally Castle, Marketing Manager, Centenary Institute
p: 02 9565 6166 m: 0414 099 534 e: