Cancer hope as Cancer Council NSW gives $3m to research

Media Release -25 March 2010

Cancer Council NSW has awarded more than $3m to some of Australia’s top cancer researchers who will seek ways to curb the disease which is on the increase across Australia.

The funding will be divided between nine important studies, including one that could result in breast cancer treatment becoming more individualised for patients.   Other researchers will look at ways of preventing cancer tumours from spreading, improving bowel cancer treatment, and optimising the effectiveness of radiotherapy.

“As part of our study, women who have been newly diagnosed with breast cancer will be offered treatment-focused genetic testing,” said Associate Professor Bettina Meiser from the Prince of Wales Clinical School at the University of NSW.

This type of testing looks to see if the woman has inherited a faulty cancer protection gene that has contributed to the development of her breast cancer.   The information gained can be used to help women and their doctors to decide on the type of surgery that is performed.”

Dr Andrew Penman, Chief Executive Officer at Cancer Council NSW said, “Cancer research is absolutely essential to understand what causes the disease, how to improve treatments and ultimately save lives.

“More than 34,600 people are diagnosed with cancer in NSW each year already and as the local population gets older we could see up to double the number of new cases occurring over the next couple of decades, unless we take action now.

“That’s why Cancer Council NSW is funding some of Australia’s best researchers who aim to beat cancer in our community through important studies looking at things like making choices about breast cancer treatment easier for women.

“These grants form part of our fifteen million dollar commitment to research in 2010 and it’s only through the local community’s support of fundraisers like Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea that make this is possible.”

Associate Professor Bettina Meiser’s grant was co-funded by Cancer Australia and Cancer Council through the Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme (PdCCRS).

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Media Contact:

Luke Alexander (02) 9334 1878 / 0413 886 578