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Thanks to our generous community, The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) supports lifesaving research that will see new and improved treatments for common diseases reach our community sooner.

Just recently THRF directed $75,000 in funding to Associate Professor Natasha Harvey and her world-class team at the Centre for Cancer Biology (CCB) to support their vital work into halting the spread of common cancers and the condition of lymphoedema.

Armed with this funding, A/Prof Harvey and her team were able to continue their lifesaving research, enabling them to make crucial discoveries and apply for the highly competitive National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Grant Round.

We’re thrilled to share, thanks to the recent support from THRF’s donor community, A/Prof Harvey and her team were successful in achieving three highly competitive grants from NHMRC.

“The funding from THRF and its kind community enabled myself and my team to continue our research and get it to a point that it was able to be successful in achieving NHMRC funding. Funding from NHMRC is extremely competitive, so to have this support of THRF to get our project to this point was invaluable,” A/Prof Harvey said.

“Community support is integral to support our research, we would be lost without it. We’re truly grateful for the support of THRF and it’s donor community.”

Research Team Natasha Harvey
Associate Professor Natasha Harvey’s team at the Centre for Cancer Biology (L-R): Dr Genevieve Secker, Dr Melinda Tea, Dr Drew Sutton, Ms Jan Kazenwadel, Dr Kelly Betterman and A/Prof Natasha Harvey.

It is the goal of A/Prof Harvey and her team at CCB to better understand the growth and development of lymphatic vessels, which are commonly used as a ‘highway’ for cancer cells to spread through a patient’s body.

“There are two main reasons for our focus on lymphatic vessels. Firstly, we want to stop the spread of cancer via lymphatic vessels but we also want to develop new treatments for the cancer related condition of lymphoedema,” A/Prof Harvey explains.

“Lymphatic vessels are really important for tumour metastases, as cancer cells enter our lymphatics and spread to our lymph nodes, before they then migrate to the blood. We want to stop this from happening.

“We also want to find a way of treating lymphoedema, which can be inherited but is more commonly developed in cancer patients who undergo lymph node removal. This condition occurs when there is damage to the lymphatic vessels and results in extreme swelling and pain for patients.

“Now having this national funding, we’ll be able to continue our work for the next four years and better understand how lymphatic vessels operate to help cancer spread and give rise to lymphoedema. We hope we can near closer to designing a therapeutic to treat lymphoedema but also find a way of blocking the spread of cancer through these vessels.”

Now thanks to THRF’s donor community, A/Prof Harvey and her team at the CCB can continue to pursue this vital and lifesaving research with the support of national funding. Your support is truly making a difference to help researchers save lives.