Springboard for pioneering cancer research in SA

28 Aug 2012
Springboard for pioneering cancer research in SA

Seven innovative new cancer research projects that have the potential to lead significant cancer breakthroughs have received a funding boost thanks to a unique program that aims to fast-track their progress.

“We are pleased to confirm that the Beat Cancer Project with the support of our donors, SA Government and research partners, will be supporting seven new cancer research initiatives that show great promise,” says Professor Brenda Wilson, Chief Executive, Cancer Council SA.

“These seven projects were selected from 17 grant submissions for their innovative methodology and their potential to uncover new knowledge and/or apply existing knowledge to improve cancer prevention, early detection and treatment activities within SA.”

The seven new cancer research projects that have been successful for funding are:

  1. Development of an effective new anti-cancer drug using novel anti-cancer agent MKI-77;

  2. Timed therapy for cancer in coordination with a patient’s own immune system;

  3. Novel markers and drug targets for ovarian cancer

  4. The role of estrogen receptor signalling in oesophageal cancer

  5. Validating and optimising the use of a new breath-test for the early detection of oesophageal cancer;

  6. Development of a web-based decision support tool for bowel cancer prevention;

  7. Assessing the cause and drug susceptibility of High Risk Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia

The funding initiative, aptly named Blue Sky Cancer Research Funding scheme, forms part of Cancer Council’s Beat Cancer Project and has been developed to fill a gap in existing research grant programs to support establishing cancer research projects with a direct focus on cancer prevention, early detection and treatment.

“Research that furthers our understanding of the causes of and treatments for cancer is essential and the investment in this program underpins our commitment to this important work," says SA Government Health Minister, the Hon. John Hill.

Funding administrator for the Beat Cancer Project, the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), undertook a rigorous and competitive assessment of all of the projects that were submitted and seven were selected as the very best.

“The cancer research projects funded through the Beat Cancer Project have the potential to have a significant impact on improving cancer outcomes in South Australia and beyond,” says Professor Steve Wesselingh, SAHMRI’s Executive Director.

“We are now in the process of distributing funds to successful researchers that range from $25,000 to $80,000 on behalf of Cancer Council SA and the SA Government.”

“This process is a great example of the efficiencies that can be created by pooling funds into a dedicated research venture. We can now invest strategically into cancer research in South Australia, fostering research excellence and translation.”