May 27, 2018  Print

We have some amazing researchers at the Westmead Institute who are striving towards finding meaningful treatments for cancer, one of Australia’s leading health concerns.

One in three men and one in four women will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 75 – we want to make a big change to this statistic with our research.

For Cancer Research Awareness Week, we’re showing you how our research is offering hope in the fight against cancer. 

Cornering the melanomas that aren’t caused by the sun 
A team from our Centre for Cancer Research, led by Professor Graham Mann, has shown in a landmark genome sequencing study that melanomas of the hands, feet and internal body surfaces are a very different disease from “regular” melanomas of the skin. These cancers occur all around the world and are hard to treat, so this a big step towards improving their prevention as well as outcomes for patients. Read more.



Using risk to streamline melanoma detection
Our Centre for Cancer Research has discovered most of the genes that drive melanoma risk, as well as pioneered specialised screening of people at highest risk. Our recent research has shown how melanoma can be detected earlier than in the past, even in this vulnerable group, and at millions of dollars less cost nationally. Read more.



The link between sleep and cancer
Associate Professor Kristina Kairaitis
and her team are the first group in Australia to investigate the link between obstructive sleep apnoea and cancer. Researchers from our Centre for Cancer Research and Ludwig Engel Centre for Respiratory Research is gathering data on the sleep quality of people with endometrial cancer, breast cancer and melanoma. 

By comparing data on patients’ tumours with information on their sleep, the team hope to understand how sleep disorders may affect cancer biology. Read more


Personalising clinical trials for ovarian cancer 
Ovarian cancer is complex, and current treatments are not equally effective in all patients. Researchers at our Centre for Cancer Reseach, led by Professor Anna deFazio, have implemented a program to analyse each individual patients’ cancer cells, then match the patients with appropriate clinical trials, based on the molecular characteristics of their cancer. The long-term aim is to improve patient outcomes by integrating precision medicine into their routine care. Read more.


Collaborating for a cancer-free future 
We are home to the Australian Breast Cancer Tissue Bank (ABCTB), which holds a large collection of tissue samples of cancerous and normal breast tissue, and blood samples. Through this collaborative biobank, research institutes around the world can have access to vital materials for their research into breast cancer.

More than 10,000 samples from the biobank have been provided to researchers, resulting in numerous projects, publications, and clinical advances, including right here at the Westmead Institute. Read more.