03:34am Thursday 16 July 2020

Leading researchers to outline fight against women’s cancer

Every day this year, breast cancer will take the lives of around eight women in Australia.

Breast cancer diagnoses are expected to hit 15,600 women in 2015, ensuring it remains the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the nation.

Ground-breaking research in the fight against breast and other women’s cancers will be showcased at a QUT and National Breast Cancer Foundation breakfast on Friday, October 9, at the Gardens Theatre Foyer, QUT Gardens Point campus.

University of Queensland and Translational Research Institute founding director Professor Ian Frazer AC, co-inventor of the revolutionary HPV vaccines used worldwide to help prevent cervical cancer, is among the speakers at the Pink Ribbon Blue Sky Breakfast.

Leading researchers from QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) will also discuss their progress in women’s cancer research and explore the challenges and future of cancer care. IHBI presenters include Professor of Breast Cancer Research Rik Thompson, who has spent almost 30 years researching breast cancer, and Professor Patsy Yates, the head of QUT’s School of Nursing and President of Palliative Care Australia.

Professor Thompson, the IHBI Theme Leader – Chronic Disease and Ageing, said despite improvements in early diagnosis and survival rates for many cancers that predominantly or exclusively affect women, cancer remained one of the biggest killers of women.

“Cancer is a complex disease and successful research requires multidisciplinary teams, including biomedical scientists and engineers sharing insights with medical professionals and public health experts,” Professor Thompson said.

“IHBI researchers investigate multiple facets of women’s cancer, covering genetics, onset and early diagnosis, treatments, drug resistance, disease progression, imaging, environmental risk factors, consumer advocates, support for people to live healthy lives following treatment, breast tissue reconstruction and provision of palliative care.

“We are committed to the highest standards of cancer research and collaborating with partners to secure breakthroughs in prevention, diagnosis and treatment for survivors of women’s cancers.”

Later this month IHBI will welcome renowned tumour cell researcher Professor Jean-Paul Thiery on a visiting fellowship. Credited with developing a method for culturing small numbers of cancer cells present in blood, Professor Thiery’s research is a major step forward in allowing new drugs to be tested in labs rather than on patients.

Professor Thiery will collaborate with Professor Thompson with hopes his research can provide insights for IHBI researchers looking at breast, prostate, lung and head and neck cancer.

Funds raised from the Pink Ribbon Blue Sky Breakfast will equally support the National Breast Cancer Foundation and IHBI medical research.

Tickets can be booked here.

For more information, visit https://www.qut.edu.au/institute-of-health-and-biomedical-innovation or contact the IHBI Events team or phone 07 3138 6082.

Presenters include

Professor Ian Frazer AC (Translational Research Institute and University of Queensland)
Co-inventor of the technology enabling the HPV vaccines, currently used worldwide to help prevent cervical cancer, and 2006 Australian of the Year.

Professor Rik Thompson
Professor in breast cancer research at IHBI and almost 30 years in breast cancer research including the NIH, USA and the Lombardi Cancer Research Center, Georgetown University Medical Center, USA, and subsequently at St. Vincent’s Institute, Melbourne, University of Melbourne.

Professor Patsy Yates
Head of School of Nursing, QUT, Founder and Director of Palliative Care Research and Education and President of Palliative Care Australia.

Professor Debra Anderson
Internationally recognised researcher and clinical leader in nursing, social and preventative medicine. Director of Research of School of Nursing, QUT, Founder and Director of the Women’s Wellness Research Program.

Dr Eloise Dray
Trained in human biochemistry under Professor Patrick Sung at Yale University and started her research group at IHBI in 2013, conducting breast cancer research with the support of National Breast Cancer Foundation and Princess Alexandra Foundation.

Leonie Young
IHBI breast cancer advocate, peer support coordinator for the Wesley Hospital Choices Cancer Support Centre and Chair of the Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group.

Professor Sandi Hayes
Exercise physiologist and Principal Research Fellow and co-leader of IHBI cancer survivorship research program ihop.

Media contact:
Rob Kidd, QUT Media, 07 3138 1841, [email protected]
After hours, Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901

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