The University of Newcastle, Australia

Generous Support for Ovarian Cancer Research

Thursday, 1 March 2018

The urgent need to improve patient outcomes associated with women’s deadliest cancer received a boost recently.

Associate Professor Pradeep Tanwar

The assistance comes in the form of two generous gifts to support research into the early detection and improved treatment of ovarian cancer.

The donations from Hunter community members will enable University researchers to continue their research that has the potential to change the lives of women facing an ovarian cancer diagnosis across Australia and worldwide.

Detecting ovarian cancer sooner

Every day in Australia, four women are diagnosed with advanced stage (2-4) ovarian cancer and three will die from the disease. This is in stark contrast with the 90% survival rate of women diagnosed with stage 1 ovarian cancer. Unfortunately, patients are very rarely diagnosed at the early stages of this disease.

Associate Professor Pradeep Tanwar is a leading researcher (ARC Future Fellow and a Cancer Institute NSW Career Development Fellow) in the ovarian cancer field. Recently, Associate Professor Tanwar and his team made a paradigm- shifting discovery that the earliest stages of serous ovarian cancer are formed by over activation of a group of proteins that belong to the Wnt signalling pathway.

This recent philanthropic funding will enable Associate Professor Tanwar’s team to continue working closely with clinicians at the John Hunter Hospital and Mater Hospital to develop a diagnostic method to detect levels of Wnt proteins to catch the earliest stages of ovarian cancer in patients.

“If we can track Wnt proteins, we can help doctors with their clinical decisions and help women make timely decisions about potential risk reduction or treatment options” - Associate Professor Pradeep Tanwar

Improving treatment of ovarian cancer

The second donation is from the Maitland Cancer Appeal Committee and will support an Early Career Fellowship for Dr Moira Graves (PhD (Medicine) 2015). Led by Research Fellow Associate Professor Nikola Bowden (PhD (Medical Genetics) 2006; BBiomedSc 2001) Dr Graves’ research aims to repurpose  traditional chemotherapy  to  improve treatment for melanoma and ovarian cancer.

“This funding will enable Moira to extend her research tracking how immune cells respond to treatment. Aside from the huge potential to improve treatment outcomes for cancer patients, the Committee’s support will enable Moira to seek other funding and continue her career as a medical researcher.” -  Research Fellow Associate Professor Nikola Bowden

Thank you

Generous support from our community enables University of Newcastle researchers to continue critical research into the early detection and treatment of ovarian cancer bringing hope to many women and their families.

Read more in The Gift newsletter


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