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Donor Funding: $600,000
Cancer Type: Prostate
Cancer Stage: Diagnosis and treatment
Funded in: 2018, 2019, 2020

Professor Lisa Butler
University of Adelaide

Prostate cancer is a significant health burden in Australian men.

Due to advances in early detection of prostate cancer over the past 20 years, most cases of localised disease are now successfully managed by surgery, radiotherapy or active surveillance. However, there are no reliable methods to predict which tumours are likely to progress to more aggressive, lethal phenotypes.

Patients who develop advanced prostate cancer are treated with androgen deprivation therapy, but this invariably fails and patients progress with incurable disease. Advances in drug development can improve patient survival, but there is considerable variation in patient response and a lack of markers to rapidly and precisely monitor treatment response and inform clinical decision-making.

My vision over the next 5 years is to improve the clinical management and treatment outcomes for men with prostate cancer. Using cutting-edge technologies and clinically-relevant models, I will:

  1. Develop and commercialise novel biomarkers for more accurate disease prognosis
  2. Design new strategies to achieve more durable control of advanced disease
  3. Initiate innovative patient trials to facilitate clinical translation of novel therapeutics

My research program encompasses the clinical journey of patients from surgery (bedside), to laboratory research (bench), through to novel clinical trial design (bedside). My goal is to improve treatment choices and outcomes for men with prostate cancer.

By developing more sensitive, non-invasive tests to monitor tumour behaviour, new therapies can be tailored to the patients who will benefit from them the most.