Government supports blood cancer research

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Featured in ANZAC Institute Discovery, May 2012.

The NSW Government has awarded $3.47 million over 5 years in a competitive grant process to advance a major project at the ANZAC Research Institute investigating the diagnosis and treatment of blood cancers.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner has announced the grant during a visit to the Concord Hospital campus, saying it’s a key part of the government’s commitment to boosting medical research.

“The cutting edge research will have a direct impact on cancer outcomes across the state, providing our doctors and nurses with the latest information and expertise to provide world class care,” she said.

The funding goes to the Dendritic Cell Biology and Therapeutics group, headed by Professor Derek Hart, which is discovering key immune markers and biological processes which will provide new diagnostic and therapeutic products for improving patient care.

Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, Professor David Currow, says the funding grant is good news for people across NSW affected by acute myeloid leukaemia, recipients of bone marrow transplants and people diagnosed with Hodgkins and non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Another $3.5 million dollars over 5 years has also been granted to the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute, which shares a building and was co-located to utilise the scientific expertise and facilities of the ANZAC Research Institute.

This funding goes towards programs to improve outcomes for people with asbestos-related cancer and their families. Professor Currow says the translational research undertaken by Professor Nico van Zandwijk and his team will see NSW as a world leader in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma.

Australia has among the world’s highest incidence of malignant mesothelioma, a fatal cancer caused by asbestos. These two projects at the Concord campus were the only projects funded by the NSW Cancer Institute in its first Translational Cancer Program Grants.

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