Thanks to generous donations from people like you, our Researchers are making significant inroads into finding new ways to screen, treat and conquer gynae cancers.
We’ve selected a couple of examples to show you the type of research work we’re currently doing.
In 2018, Dr Aime Powell BExSc MExSc PhD was awarded the Cindy Sullivan Fellowship. She is currently employed by The Institute of Health Research, University of Notre Dame in Perth and is funded by St John of God Hospital Subiaco as an Early Career Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Her research project is entitled “Aboriginal women at increased risk of cervical cancer incidence and mortality: Quantifying the risk in an era of national prevention programs.”
In 2016, the National Framework for Gynaecological Cancer Control reported a critical need to improve gynaecological cancer outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women (including prevention of cervical cancer). Aboriginal women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer and four times more likely to die from the disease when compared to non-aboriginal women. There has been no reduction in cervical cancer incidence and mortality for Aboriginal women, despite the National Cervical Screening Program.
Dr Paul Cohen, Director Gynaecological Cancer research, St John of God Hospital Subiaco, supervised Dr Powell in her research. Dr Cohen is a well-respected and active member for the Australian Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, The Australian and New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group, and the Australian Society of Gynaecological Oncologists (ASGO).
Dr Dane Cheasley BBiolSc (hons), PhD from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne was selected as the successful applicant for the AGCF and Way in Network Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award 2017 – AGCF’s first Postdoctoral Fellowship grant.
In 2017, Dr Cheasley currently held a full-time position at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre as a Postdoctoral Fellow, working on genetic and genomic studies of interval breast cancers and rare ovarian cancers. He has also held a postdoctoral research fellowship position at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne.
Dr Cheasley’s research hoped to fill in one of the gaps in the current treatment of ovarian cancer. Despite the fact that 200,000 women are diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer world-wide annually and only approximately 48% survive five years, ovarian cancer has for many years been treated as a single disease.
It is now known that there are multiple distinct subtypes of ovarian cancer, and each subtype has a different genetic profile. One of the less common subtypes is low-grade serous carcinoma, which is particularly common in young women. This cancer is difficult to treat because it is usually resistant to chemotherapy. Dr Cheasley’s research looked at the genetic profile of women with low-grade serous ovarian cancer, with a view to better understanding why the disease is resistant to chemotherapy. His research also attempted to develop a new, effective gene (or targeted) therapy for the disease.
Professor Ian Campbell, Head of the Cancer Genetics Laboratory at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre supervised Dr Cheasley in his research. Professor Campbell is an industry pioneer in breast and ovarian cancer genetics and geometrics and has established an international reputation for research excellence in these areas.
We are the Australian Gynaecological Cancer Foundation. The only organisation that focuses on funding laboratory research into all eight gynae cancers.
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