• Untitled-design-47

NBCF teams up with Cancer Australia to co-fund priority research

December 5th, 2015

Four researchers have been awarded three-year grants, co-funded by NBCF and Cancer Australia, to start projects that will directly translate into better health outcomes for Australians with breast cancer.

The projects, which will commence in 2016, have been funded under Cancer Australia’s Priority Driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme, of which NBCF is a founding member.

The scheme aims to fund cancer research in priority areas to reduce the impact of cancer in the community and improve outcomes for people affected by cancer. Collaborative funding partnerships established through this scheme help coordinate and maximise the investment in cancer research across Australia.

Jackie Coles, acting CEO of NBCF, says, “These types of applied, or translational, research – where the results will make an immediate impact on prevention and treatment of those with breast cancer – are essential to achieving our goal of zero deaths by 2030.

“So we’re pleased to work together with Cancer Australia to jointly fund priority research projects that will make a life-changing difference to those dealing with breast cancer.”

The four projects jointly funded by NBCF and Cancer Australia under the Priority Driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme are as follows:

Researcher: Professor Kelly-Anne Phillips

Institution: University of Melbourne

Project Title: Translating evidence into practice: Optimising and facilitating prevention and screening in women with a strong family history of breast cancer

Description: Australian women who have a high-risk of breast and/or ovarian cancer often don’t undergo recommended cancer prevention and screening. This study will find out what the barriers are, from the perspective of both women and their clinicians. The findings will lead to education and health policy interventions that will help these women get the best care.


Researcher: Professor Ian Campbell

Institution: University of Melbourne

Project Title: Resolution of the missing heritability of breast cancer

Description: The genetic cause of the majority of familial breast cancer remains unknown. Prof Campbell has identified 40 genes which have strong evidence for being new breast cancer predisposition genes and in this project he will sequence these genes in a large validation cohort of 5,000 familial breast cancer cases and 5,000 controls. This is an international collaboration that will identify of new genes that can then improve risk assessment, genetic counselling and management for individuals in high-risk breast cancer families.


Researcher: Associate Professor Claudine Bonder

Institution: University of South Australia

Project Title: Targeting the IL-3/IL-3 receptor axis to prevent breast cancer progression

Description: The biggest killer of all cancers diagnosed in Australian women is also the most aggressive. A/Prof Bonder has identified that these particular cancers form their own blood vessel-like structures for tumour progression. She has discovered that the growth factor interleukin-3 (IL-3) controls this cancer-derived vasculature and propose that blocking IL-3 is a new therapeutic option. An anti-IL-3 receptor antibody currently in clinical trials to treat acute myeloid leukaemia may be repurposed to accelerate this potential new therapy.


Researcher: Associate Professor Elgene Lim

Institution: The Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Project Title: A novel approach to overcome treatment-resistance in breast cancer

Description: Current targeted therapies have greatly improved survival rates for breast cancer, but resistance to these therapies is common and represents a major cause of death. A protein called the androgen receptor may be active in tumours resistant to common breast cancer treatments. A/Prof Lim proposes that manipulating this receptor will provide a novel approach to treating tumours that develop resistance to current targeted therapies and thereby improve breast cancer survival rates.