The Fellowship, worth $900,000 over 3 years, will support the two researchers to work together to explore exciting new approaches to the management and outcomes for patients with colorectal and appendiceal cancers that have spread (metastasised) to the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum), known as peritoneal metastases.
Patients with peritoneal metastases have poor outcomes and it is unclear how best to manage these patients.
“Treatment options are limited – the only potential curative approach involves difficult and intricate surgery of the affected tissue followed by chemotherapy. Even then, cancer recurrence following this treatment is common,” said Dr Mahon.
Drs Yeo and Mahon will collaborate to detect and isolate tumour cells that have broken away from the tumour and circulate in the blood.
“This could be used as the basis of a simple blood test, to more effectively determine a patient’s cancer status. This could provide clinicians with the necessary information to make patient-specific decisions and improve clinical outcomes for patients,” Dr Yeo said.
Professor John Rasko AO, Head of the Centenary Institute’s Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program said, “It’s thrilling to see these two early career researchers pursuing exciting therapeutic possibilities to address unmet needs in cancer patients.”
The full announcement from Sydney Cancer Partners can be found online.
Dr Yeo is a senior researcher in the Centenary Institute’s Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program and is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Li Ka Shing Cell & Gene Therapy Initiative, University of Sydney. Dr Mahon is the Director of Medical Oncology at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Sydney.