Tireless volunteers are the real life savers
IHMRI and UOW Advancement hosted an afternoon tea on Monday 26 November at the Innovation Campus to acknowledge and thank the Illawarra Cancer Carers (ICC) for their continuing support of ground-breaking cancer research in our region.
Over the past 10 years, the ICC have donated more than $1 million for cancer research at IHMRI from funds raised through stalls, raffles and events, including an annual banquet.
A unique feature of the relationship between ICC and IHMRI researchers is the volunteers have direct access to the cancer researchers. This allows the researchers to nominate a pressing project and ICC to fundraise for that specific project, allowing the donors to know where the donations are being spent and the researchers to receive support for vital projects.
For President of the ICC, Sue Maidman, the donations to IHMRI are a long-term commitment to the health of future generations.
“The research they are doing is going to help our children and grandchildren,” she stated.
Such local support is invaluable as competitive government funding does not always cover the high costs of cancer research.
The ICC’s most recent donation supported a project led by cancer researchers, Professor Marie Ranson and Associate Professor Michael Kelso, to develop a novel drug against pancreatic and breast cancer.
“This funding is allowing us to keep key personnel, such as Research Fellow Dr Benjamin Buckley on the project for at least another year,” said Professor Ranson. “Without this funding the project would have seriously stalled. But the project has been very successful and will be pitched by Ben to various pharmaceutical companies in the USA.
This research examined the cancer-fighting characteristics of compounds derived from amiloride, a diuretic drug used for over five decades to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, or extra fluid in the body.
“By altering the structure of amiloride we were able to remove the original diuretic activity while increasing the anti-metastatic activity,” stated Research Fellow, Dr Benjamin Buckley. “Lead compounds from this library were shown to be very potent inhibitors of metastasis in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer.”
Photos by Mark Newsham.
Louise Negline, Communications Coordinator
M: 0417 044 867
Top picture: Dr Benjamin Buckely, Sue Maidman and Professor Marie Ranson with the Illawarra Cancer Carers. Photo by Mark Newsham.