Through infrastructure support from the Cancer Council, my group will have the ability to study leukaemia and unlock the secrets of the mutations that drive tumour growth in blood cancers and help develop targeted therapies. This knowledge will help improve the outcomes of patients by the development of individual therapies that target their specific disease. We are specifically interested in continuing to develop these therapies and to do so effectively have identified priority infrastructure.
What we aim to achieve
The overarching goal of the Cancer Theme is to foster excellence to the full spectrum of cancer-related research, from fundamental genomic discovery, developmental biology, translational research and the development of innovative clinical trials. A core of the Cancer Theme Leukaemia Lab is the study of haematologic malignancies, which are a leading cause of childhood cancer morbidity and mortality, and commonly lethal disorders in adults.
What are the next steps and milestones for your research?
Importantly while the equipment funded through this infrastructure grant is invaluable for our leukaemia research it is also multi-purpose equipment that has functionality for all Cancer Theme Groups, as well as all other Themes in SAHMRI.
What motivates you to pursue cancer research?
I am motivated to pursue cancer research as I believe that therapies, even those considered to be good, can always be improved. When you consider a cancer patient you should not only consider the management of the disease itself but also the quality of life that you afford to this patient. For this reason I believe translational research (from bench to bedside) to be integral for improving current therapeutics for both the quality of life for the patient, as well as for improved treatment of the cancer.
My message to supporters:
Leukaemia is a deadly disease. While we have made significant inroads to improve the outcomes for some patients, this is not the case for all. The only way forward is to better understand the drivers of leukaemia and with this knowledge we can improve current therapeutic strategies, and develop new ones. This type of research requires significant funding, and this can only be achieved with donor support. Recent improvements in the outcomes for some subtypes of leukaemia (such as CML) support the notion that translational medical research can positively impact to the lives of leukaemia sufferers. Your ongoing support to help us improve the lives of leukaemia sufferers is critical.