Lung cancer researcher awarded International Fellowship
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) has awarded University of Newcastle researcher Dr Md Atiqur Rahman a 2017-2018 IASLC Fellowship for a project entitled ‘Cell free microRNA: a potential biomarker for the early detection of lung cancer’.
The project is being carried out in collaboration with internationally-recognised researcher Professor Phil Hansbro at the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI). Dr Rahman said he and the team were grateful to IASLC for the one year, US$50,000 fellowship award.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death globally and in Australia. According to the GLOBOCAN Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide in 2012 report, each year there are an estimated 1.8 million new lung cancer cases and 1.5 million lung cancer deaths.
In Australia, lung cancer is the fourth commonest cancer and the leading cause of cancer related mortality with ~9,000 deaths/year. The high mortality rate is mainly due to the lack of effective early diagnostic procedures and because lung cancer is the worst treated of all cancers.
As a result, most lung cancers are not diagnosed until later stages of the disease, when tumours have progressed and have spread all over the body. If lung cancer can be diagnosed in the early stages, current treatment options would have a much greater chance of being successful.
The IASLC fellowship will allow Dr Rahman and the team to investigate biomarkers in blood that could be used to detect lung cancer at an early stage.
The findings of the research have the potential to significantly improve the early diagnosis of lung cancer and enable more effective treatments, thereby improving the prognosis and outcomes of lung cancer in patients.
* HMRI is a partnership between the University, Hunter New England Health and the community.