New grants support innovation in cancer research

Cancer Australia

The Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Mark Butler MP today announced over $5.7 million in funding through Cancer Australia’s Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme (PdCCRS) aimed at driving innovative cancer research initiatives.

The 15 grants, supported by $3.61 million from the Australian Government through Cancer Australia and $2.17 million from Cancer Australia’s Funding Partners, mark a valuable investment in advancing cancer research across a diverse spectrum of cancer types, including lung, prostate, brain, colorectal, breast, ovarian, and blood cancers.

The grants address different population groups, including children, underscoring the importance of improving outcomes for cancer across all demographics, aligning with the Australian Cancer Plan and its focus on equity.

The research types supported include translational research, which focuses on translating scientific discoveries into clinical applications, as well as health services research aimed at improving healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.

Since 2007, Cancer Australia and its Funding Partners have supported 485 cancer research projects in key priority areas through the PdCCRS and international partnerships, with a total value of more than $170 million. Partnerships in delivering priority research are key to achieving the goals and ambitions of the Australian Cancer Plan.

Funding Partners contributing to this year’s grants include the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation, Bowel Cancer Australia, Can Too Foundation, Leukaemia Foundation, Lung Foundation Australia, My Room Children’s Cancer Charity Limited, Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, and The Kids’ Cancer Project. These organisations demonstrate their unwavering commitment to advancing cancer research and improving outcomes for individuals affected by cancer with this financial support.

Successful applicants and their projects are:

· Dr Sarah Boyle, Centre for Cancer Biology (University of South Australia and SA Pathology) – Tackling breast cancer growth and metastasis by suppressing ROCK-regulated paracrine signalling

· Dr Hilary Byrne, University of Sydney – How are you breathing today?

· Dr Alexander Cole, Centenary Institute – Treating chemoresistant ovarian cancer: Blocking follistatin signalling to enhance the effects of chemotherapy and prevent recurrence of chemoresistant disease

· Professor Richard D’Andrea, University of South Australia – Integrating cancer germline genetics, precision medicine and oncology to optimise management of paediatric AML

· Professor Matt Dun, The University of Newcastle – Taming free radicals to silence the epigenome of kinase active paediatric cancers

· Dr Nicholas Hindley, University of Sydney – From relativity to respiration: How ideas from Einstein’s general theory enable adaptative radiation therapy for lung cancer patients

· Associate Professor Michelle McDonald, University of Sydney – The Skeleton: A Reservoir for Metastatic Outgrowth

· Professor Michael Samuel, University of South Australia – Insights from the functional tumour secretome: new opportunities to monitor and halt colorectal cancer progression

· Associate Professor Elaine Sanij, St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research – Harnessing the nucleolar stress response in cancer therapy

· Dr Oliver Schumacher, Edith Cowan University – Exercise as a novel therapeutic approach for sensitising prostate cancer to radiotherapy

· Associate Professor Luke Selth, Flinders University – A novel hormonal therapy to treat lethal prostate cancer

· Associate Professor Kate Sutherland, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research – Exploiting cell-of-origin features to improve treatment for KEAP1-mutant lung cancer

· Dr Paniz Tavakoli Shirazi, The Council of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research – Effect of co-occurring mutations on therapy response and resistance

· Dr Lauren Thurgood, Flinders University- Non-canonical PI3K targeting – novel therapies to exploit the lipid dependency of CLL

· Dr Kate Vandyke, The University of Adelaide- Priming the blood-brain barrier to improve drug delivery and treatment outcomes in diffuse midline glioma

The PdCCRS is an annual national research grants scheme conducted by Cancer Australia in collaboration with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

/Public Release.