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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr Jeff Holst, Head of Origins of Cancer Group
Jeff Holst’s discovery of a potential future treatment for prostate cancer grabbed the news headlines recently. ABC News Breakfast ran the story in its morning show, and both Channel Ten and ABC ran prominent stories in their news bulletins.