Radiation and medical oncologists and surgeons gathered with cancer researchers on October 5 in Austinmer for the 3rd Annual Translational Cancer Research workshop, convened by Professor Marie Ranson, University of Wollongong
The forum promotes open discussion between medical practitioners and scientists around the treatment, management and care of patients to help clearly identify areas of need.
Members of the Illawarra Cancer Carers were among the 100 people at the event.
The topics ranged from the latest tools for cancer research to a panel discussion on the cost versus benefit for cancer treatment.
The importance of cancer tissue biobanks and clinical trials was also presented.
Patients in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven have donated more than 20,000 samples over the past five years to help local research into better cancer treatments.
Oncologist and Clinical Research Fellow, Dr Daniel Brungs, is one of the IHMRI researchers utilising the Biobank to improve treatments for stomach and oesophageal cancers.
Working at the Illawarra Cancer Care Centre and IHMRI, Dr Brungs is analysing patient samples collected in collaboration with the CONCERT Biobank.
He has found new markers in the cancer tissue and blood samples which help to identify patients with more aggressive cancers who need extra treatment.
“Stomach cancer is a very aggressive and highly lethal cancer which often presents too late for curative surgery. My research is aimed at improving the way patients with gastric cancer are treated,” said Dr Brungs.
As part of his research, Dr Brungs is also growing patient’s cancer cells, isolated from blood samples to test new treatments.
The annual gathering was sponsored by the Centre for Oncology and Education Research Translation (CONCERT), the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD).
Presentations from the next generation of cancer researchers including PhD students and early career researchers was one of the key highlights.
The topics ranged from the importance of diet and feeding for patients with head and neck cancer to improving the brain cancer treatment with next generation nanoparticle-enhanced radiation therapy.
Prizes were awarded to the best speakers Dr Ben Buckley and Ms Elette Engels.
At the end of presentations a farewell gift to outgoing CONCERT manager Professor Norbert Kienzle was presented by CONCERT executive committee members Professor Marie Ranson and Professor Michael Barton.
“His ongoing contributions to the success of CONCERT will not be forgotten, we wish Professor Kienzle every success in his new position as Manager at the Hunter Cancer Research Alliance, “said Professor Ranson.
The organising committee also acknowledges and thanks the fantastic assistance provided by Mr Kyle Guerrieri-Cortesi (Research Central) and Ms Anisha Pradhan (Ingham Institute)
To read more about CONCERT visit concert.org.au.
The CONCERT Biobank relies on funding through Cancer institute NSW and generous donations.
For more information on the great work the CONCERT Biobank is doing and to learn more, visit the website www.biobank.inghaminstitute.org.au.
Louise Negline, Communications Coordinator
t: 4221 4702 m: 0417 044 867
Top photo: Professor Norbert Kienzle, Dr Daniel Brungs, Professor Marie Ranson, Professor Mori Aghmesheh, Professor Martin Carolan and Associate Professor Kevin Spring.
Photo: James Grabowski