Cancer Research Endowment

Priority area: Transforming our world
Cancer is a disease that touches us all. In Australia, over 120,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer this year and every week more than 800 people of those people will die. A global research effort is underway to find new ways to treat and cure cancer, and The John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR) at ANU is playing an important role.

Professor Ross Hannan, ACT Centenary Chair of Cancer Research leads a team of researchers in the ACRF Department of Cancer Biology and Therapeutics at JCSMR who are investigating a range of potential cancer therapies.

Cancer research begins with a fundamental understanding of cancer cells and of healthy cells within the human body - including their structure, genetics and metabolism. At ANU, researchers are undertaking cutting-edge projects with the aim of discovering these fundamental processes, which will lead to novel approaches to fighting cancer. As promising strategies are uncovered, the translational phase of the research can begin, to test the ideas and to devise possible therapies. Potential treatments can then enter first stage clinical trials to determine efficacy and best practice.

The establishment of the Target and Drug Discovery Platform at JCSMR in February 2017 has provided ANU with some of the strongest capability in the country to screen for potential cancer therapies. This facility can robotically test hundreds of existing and approved drugs on cancer tissue, searching for targeted effects alone, or in combination with other drugs and compounds. One advantage of this approach is to dramatically reduce the time and cost that would be required to test the drugs 'by hand' in a lab. A second advantage is that it focuses on new applications for drugs that are already approved for patients, reducing the time between discovery and treatment by years - or even decades.

Our goal is to establish a team of dedicated clinician-scientists to work side-by-side with our cancer researchers. This team would be led by a clinician who could devote up to 80% of their time to research, and the remaining time to patient care, mentoring and working with early-career clinicians to test and trial new and better cancer treatments, and to provide access to these new therapies to patients quickly and safely.

Your donation will help our researchers undertake this work, which will lead to improvements in cancer treatment and care for patients and their families.

Listen to Professor Ross Hannan's recent radio interview: Curing cancer - Are we close?

Page Owner: Philanthropy