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Cancer is a disease where abnormal cells proliferate in an uncontrolled fashion. It is a disease that can develop within almost every part of the human body and affects thousands of Australians every year.
Cancers are named based on where they originate in the body, even if that cancer then spreads elsewhere. The most common cancer diagnosed in men is prostate cancer (originating in the prostate), and in women, breast cancer. Colorectal cancer, melanoma, lung cancer and lymphoma are the next most common cancers in both men and women.
Our cancer researchers tackle the mysteries of cancer from a number of different perspectives. Some carry out research into specific cancers, such as cancer of the lung, bowel, endometrium, brain, bladder and stomach. Others investigate the role that innate immunity, specific proteins and cancer stem cells play in the onset and development of the disease.
Importantly, our Phase I Clinical Trials Program provides researchers with the potential to translate laboratory findings into new cancer therapies for patients.
Translational researcher and medical oncologist Dr Arun Azad focuses on urological cancers. In collaboration with Professor Gail Risbridger, his pre-clinical research uses novel patient-derived xenograft models to characterise the effects of taxane cytotoxics in castration-sensitive prostate cancer. Dr Azad's clinical research focuses on circulating biomarkers including cell-free DNA and microRNA in patients with urological cancers together with the delivery of precision medicine for prostate cancer patients using genomic profiling of blood and tissue to offer personalised treatments.
Consultant haematologist Dr George Grigoriadis is Co-Head of the Leukaemia Research Group. He is interested in signalling pathways that control homeostasis and function of immune cells in health and disease, including
- The role of the NF-kB transcription factor RelA in T regulatory cell homeostasis and function
- The role of the bone marrow environment in evolution of myeloid dysplasia
- Therapeutic benefits of iron chelation in MDS
Head of Blood Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory and Victorian Cancer Agency clinical research fellowship recipient, A/Prof Jake Shortt is clinical lead at Monash Haematology for chronic myeloid disorders. He is principal investigator on a range of clinical trials for myeloproliferative and myelodysplastic syndromes, conducted through the Monash Haematology clinical trials unit. He also has a strong clinical interest in thrombotic microangiopathies.
Scientists working in the Centre for Cancer Research undertake basic research into the molecular mechanisms underlying the development, growth and metastasis of tumours, as well as the relationship between the innate immune system and cancer. The discovery and development of novel therapies for the treatment of cancers is also an important aspect of the team’s work.