9 oncology research funding winners announced by NHMRC

Oncologists and researchers have been awarded more than $48 million for cancer research projects in the 2021 NHMRC Grant Application Round.

Some of the many funded projects across a range of cancer types include:

  • An international collaboration led by Professor Peter Soyer (University of Queensland) on the use of an intelligent total body scanner for early detection of melanoma. This project aims to develop a total body scanner using fast-refocusing lenses to take total body dermoscopy images of all skin lesions in approximately 6 minutes, integrated with a computer aided diagnostic tool providing a risk score for each lesion incorporating medical history, genotypic and phenotypic risk markers.
  • Associate Professor Victoria Mar (Monash Uni) also leads a clinical trial using cutting edge technology for the early detection of melanoma while Professor Monika Janda (University of Queensland) establishes a Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Skin Imaging and Precision Diagnosis.
  • Professor Gary Lee (University of Western Australia) leads the Australasian Malignant Pleural Effusion (AMPLE)-3 trial to compare surgery versus indwelling pleural catheter to provide fluid control and improve quality of life in malignant mesothelioma.
  • Professor Anna Nowak (University of Western Australia) has also been funded for a program of immunotherapy translational research nested within novel clinical trials for mesothelioma.
  • Professor Susan Ramus (University of NSW) leads a team of investigators on the Prospective Ovarian Cancer Cohort to Authenticate Stratification of Prognosis in Ovarian Tumours (POCCA-SPOT). The study will determine the accuracy of a tumour test used in newly diagnosed cases to predict prognosis at 5 years and improve treatment decisions.
  • Professor Clare Scott (WEHI) will also study the super-responders to treatment and super-survivors of ovarian cancer.
  • Professor Georgina Long (Melanoma Institute Australia) has been funded for the Anti-PD 1 Brain Collaboration + Radiotherapy Extension: The ABC-X Study – assessing whether radiotherapy plus immunotherapy offers benefit to patients with melanoma brain lesions compared to immunotherapy alone. A second grant funded is the Towards Zero Deaths from Melanoma: Innovative Clinical Trials with Multi-omics Analyses.
  • Dr Jenny Lee (Macquarie University) has an investigator grant to look at real-time prediction and monitoring of head and neck cancer treatment.
  • Professor David Bowtell (University of Melbourne), principal investigator of the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study, is driving improvements in ovarian cancer survival through molecular and clinical studies including a focus on chemotherapy resistance.

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