Insight Centenary: Why I do cancer research

Why I do Cancer Research

Me and my Dad.

I was seven weeks old when my Dad was diagnosed with cancer.  It was just a tiny lump in his neck.  They had just taken it out, and discovered it was a malignant adenocarcinoma of the parotid salivary gland.  This is a very slow type of cancer, which in a way is fortunate, because I did get to know my Dad.  They had to go back in and remove more tissue, and in doing so the nerve to the right side of his face was damaged.  This meant his face drooped a little on the right side.  To me this was just the way my Dad looked, but he always turned his right side away in photographs.

Continue reading

New laboratories help put Centenary research into practice

Professor John Rasko, AO and Minister for Health and Medical Research, The Hon. Jillian Skinner, MP

Professor John Rasko, AO and Minister for Health and Medical Research, The Hon. Jillian Skinner, MP

Centenary is at the heart of Sydney’s new five-year plan for clinical research just launched by the NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, Jillian Skinner.

“We applaud the SLHD for having the foresight to have a strategic approach to medical research, and look forward to an ever closer collaboration that will enrich our patients’ lives,” said Centenary’s Executive Director, Professor Mathew Vadas, AO.

The launch itself demonstrated the Institute’s pivotal role, because it also served as the opening for Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s new Cell and Molecular Therapies Laboratories which will be run by Centenary’s head of Gene and Stem Cell Therapy, Professor John Rasko AO.

“With this milestone we open up new opportunities for treating patients who suffer from cancer, genetic and other diseases,” Professor Rasko says.

Continue reading

Genetic testing for heritable heart disease cost effective

Dr Jodie Ingles

Dr Jodie Ingles

Genetic testing for the most common genetic heart disorder, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, can save money as well as lives, according to a study from the Centenary Institute just published in the British journal Heart.

The research was based on data from the National Genetic Heart Disease Registry. Lead author was National Registry Coordinator, Dr Jodie Ingles and senior author, the Registry Advisory Chair, Professor Chris Semsarian.

Continue reading

March 24 is World TB Day

TBTB used to be Australia’s top killer. In much of the rest of the world it still is, killing three people every minute.

Saturday 24 March 2012 marks 130 years since the discovery of the cause of tuberculosis (TB), a disease that kills more than one million people worldwide every year.

In 1882, TB was the leading cause of death in Australia – twenty times more deadly than the road toll is today and equivalent to the current annual death rate from all cancers.

Discovering the cause enabled Australia and other developed countries to push back successfully against TB with massive public health, screening and vaccine programs.
Continue reading

Our TB work in Vietnam in the media spotlight

Centenary Scientist Dr Greg Fox in Vietnam

Centenary Scientist Dr Greg Fox in Vietnam – a young researcher taking the fight against a global killer to the next level

130 years ago TB was Australia’s biggest killer – with a greater impact than cancer today.

In Vietnam 290,000 people have active TB and 54,000 people are killed by it every year.

One of our young researchers,  Greg Fox is working in Vietnam to understand how TB spreads in communities, and to work out the genetic factors that contribute to survival.

On Wednesday Greg and his work appeared on the Australia Network, which broadcasts across the Asia-Pacific.

In the run-up to World TB Day on Saturday March 24, Greg has also been talking on ABC Radio Australia, which broadcasts to Asia.

Listen to his radio interview here.

Find more about Greg’s latest work here:PDF format Vietnam release and background

Or his other Vietnam work here.

Behind the scenes of Centenary’s new $1.2m TB lab


This gallery contains 6 photos.

Today, TV crews toured Centenary’s brand-new $1.2 million high-containment lab. Our researchers will be able to double their efforts to understand and fight back against TB, a bacterium that lives inside two billion people worldwide and kills three people every … Continue reading

UN Director General calls for action to “Stop TB in our lifetime”

Scientists at Centenary Institute are part of a global collaborative effort to Help Stop TB

For too long, tuberculosis has not received sufficient attention. The result of this neglect is needless suffering: in 2010 alone, nearly 9 million people fell ill with TB and 1.4 million died, with 95 per cent of these deaths occurring in developing countries. These numbers make tuberculosis the second top infectious killer of adults worldwide.

The impact reverberates far beyond the individuals directly affected. TB takes a heavy toll on families and communities. Millions of children have lost their parents. Children who are exposed to sick family members are at high risk of contracting the disease. Far too many go untreated, since TB is often difficult to diagnose and treat in children. That is why this year we should aim to expand awareness of how children are affected by the disease.

Continue reading

Can We Stop TB in Our Lifetime? Together We CAN.

Dr Magda Ellis (right) working with a colleague

Dr Magda Ellis (right) working with a colleague

For this year’s Stop TB campaign, you can make an individual call to stop TB in your lifetime. That’s the call to arms for the 2012 World TB Day campaign and Centenary has joined the fight. The Institute is part of the TB Research Movement, launched by the Stop TB Partnership and the World Health Organization (WHO), in a collaborative strategic effort to encourage, support and promote the importance of research into the disease.

These organisations have set a goal to eliminate TB globally by 2050. It’s a big job because two billion people carry TB. Only one person in ten will get sick but we don’t know which one.

An inspiring team of Centenary researchers has been working tirelessly in the global effort to better understand the pathogen and the disease so we can better identify the people at risk, and get them the help they need.

Continue reading