Better melanoma treatments on the way

In-vitro treated versus untreated melanoma cells

In-vitro untreated (A) versus treated (B) melanoma cells

Melanoma affects about 12,000 Australians every year. But new research by Centenary’s Dr Nikolas Haass, Nethia Mohana-Kumaran and their colleagues published today in Clinical Cancer Research is showing promising results for more effective treatments.

They have found that, in the test tube, melanomas can be made 100 times more sensitive to new anti-cancer drugs by using them in combination with another drug that stimulates certain parts of the tumour cells to self-destruct.
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Centenary welcomes new Health Minister

The Hon Tanya Plibersek, Minister for Health visits Centenary Institute

L-R at Centenary's Flow Cytometry facility: Centenary Director, Prof Mathew Vadas, Minister Plibersek, Professor John Rasko and Steven Allen, Technical Support Officer, Science Support

Professor Mathew Vadas, Executive Director of the Centenary Institute welcomed Australia’s new Minister for Health, The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, this morning. Professor Warwick Britton led her on a tour of the PC3 facility and spoke to her about Centenary’s tuberculosis projects. She met with Professor John Rasko to discuss gene and stem cell therapy, and Dr Nikolas Haass about his melanoma research that has been published today in Clinical Cancer Research. She also visited Centenary’s flow cytometry and multi-photon facilities and spent time with Professor Chris Semsarian at Centenary’s cardiovascular unit.

The Minister heard from faculty and clinicians about the importance of Centenary’s alliance and close proximity to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the University of Sydney, and that government funding was a major contributing factor in Centenary’s recent breakthroughs in prostate cancer and melanoma treatments, liver transplants and immune system diseases.

Professor Vadas was delighted that Ms Plibersek had managed to fit the visit in before being sworn in as the new Health Minister by the Governor General at 3.30pm today.

A jump start for Victorian sporting clubs

Professor Chris Semsarian

Professor Chris Semsarian, Assistant Director at Centenary

Professor Chris Semsarian, cardiologist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Assistant Director at Centenary Institute has welcomed a campaign to reduce deaths from sudden cardiac arrest among athletes, officials and spectators in sporting clubs of Victoria, Australia.

Cardiac Science Corporation will supply hundreds of easy-to-use defibrillators and a training program to provide a safer sporting environment.

The campaign was sparked by the on-field death of a young player, Stephen Buckman, in May 2010. Buckman, 19, collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest during training. Andrew White, the paramedic who attempted to revive Buckman has led the “Defib Your Club, For Life” campaign.

Centenary researcher wins medical prize

Professor John Rasko

Professor John Rasko, Head, Gene and Stem Cell Therapy

Sydney researcher Professor John Rasko has been recognised for his work in improving bone marrow transplants by lifting the quality and quantity of viable adult stem cells. Prof Rasko was announced as the winner of the 50th annual Eric Susman Prize by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) on 7 December 2011.
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Nine’s 60 Minutes talks to Prof Semsarian on SADS

Professor Chris Semsarian, Professor of Medicine, University of Sydney, Cardiologist, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Assistant Director, Centenary Institute appeared on Nine Network program, 60 minutes, on Sunday to talk about the “time bomb”, Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS). He discusses his important research in identifying young people at risk of dying suddenly from heart disease. Chris has set up the National Genetic Heart Disease Registry where Australian families who have an inherited heart problem can register to receive information.


Wil and the Mongol Rally

Mongol Rally

Teams of four drive from London to Mongolia to raise money for charity

If you thought racing against hundreds of adventurous types across two continents in a beat up service vehicle was a bit wild, you’d be right. It’s not for the faint-hearted. But Wil d’Avigdor, who is in Professor Geoff McCaughan’s Liver Immunology group supervised by Dr Nicholas Shackel, will be doing just that with three mates in July next year to raise money for the Centenary Institute.
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