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Cancer research receive $1.2 million funding boost next cancer breakthrough

Cancer Council’s Beat Cancer Project has awarded more than $1.2 million to South Australian cancer researchers to work towards the next cancer breakthrough.

Cancer Council’s Beat Cancer Project has awarded more than $1.2 million to South Australian cancer researchers, empowering the state’s best and brightest to work towards the next cancer breakthrough.

There have been 12 research fellowships and grants awarded across a broad spectrum of cancer research projects, ranging from cancer prevention and early detection through to treatment. 

Early Career Fellowship recipient Dr Melissa Cantley from the University of Adelaide and SAHMRI is leading a project that hopes to provide an insight into the fatal, incurable bone marrow cancer multiple myeloma.

“Before a patient is diagnosed with multiple myeloma, their diagnosis is preceded by a pre-cancerous stage known as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS),” Dr Cantley said.

“We currently have no way of identifying which MGUS patients will go on to develop myeloma and have no treatment to prevent this progression.

“This funding will enable cutting edge analysis of clinical samples to investigate what causes MGUS to progress to cancerous myeloma. We will also work to discover new blood-based biomarkers to identify which MGUS patients are at high risk of progressing to myeloma.

Dr Cantley said their hope is that, through support from Cancer Council’s Beat Cancer Project, they can change how they treat MGUS and myeloma and improve outcomes and quality of life for patients.

“I am very honoured to be awarded a Cancer Council Beat Cancer Fellowship,” Dr Cantley said.

“This funding is so important for researchers, particularly early career researchers like myself, to support our work.”

Established in 2011, Cancer Council’s Beat Cancer Project has invested $3.23million towards local South Australian cancer research in the past five years alone.

A collaboration between Cancer Council SA, the State Government, SAHMRI and the Universities – with support from the Medical Research Future Fund – the Beat Cancer Project is the single biggest source of research funding in the state outside of the Federal Government.

Cancer Council Chief Executive Kerry Rowlands said that targeted cancer research is the key to achieving a cancer free future for every South Australian.

“Thanks to investment in research, amazing advancements have been made in cancer prevention, screening and treatment – helping to increase survival rates from 49 per cent in the 1980s to 69 per cent today,” Kerry said.

“Through the Cancer Council Beat Cancer Project we have been able to support some of the state’s best and brightest cancer researchers to achieve exceptional results, which has helped save countless lives and give more South Australians the precious gift of time.”

The 2022 Cancer Council Beat Cancer Project grant recipients are:

Early Career Fellowships

  • Dr Melissa Cantley
  • Dr Jo Dono

Clinical Investigator Grants

  • A/Professor Craig Wallington-Beddoe
  • A/Professor David Yeung
  • Prof Bogda Koczwara

Project Grants

  • Professor Claudine Bonder
  • A/Prof Luke Selth
  • A/Prof Robyn Meech
  • Prof Tim Hughes
  • A/Prof David Ross
  • Prof Deb White
  • Dr Jo Dono

For more information on Cancer Council’s Beat Cancer Project, visit cancersa.org.au/research/research-projects/apply-for-funding.

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