Supporting people in hospitals across South Australia through vital health and medical research and improved patient care.
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THRF adopts extremely high transparency standards when reporting our financials.
Supports research into the detection, management & treatment of breast cancer.
Funding research into prostate cancer prevention, detection & treatment.
Improving heart health through advances in knowledge & research to beat heart disease.
Our aim is to reduce & eliminate the high incidence of chronic kidney disease and diabetes.
Supports health and wellbeing research & programs for veterans, emergency service personnel and their families.
Driving collaboration, innovation & research to develop best-practice arts, design & health programs.
Supporting world-class stroke research to improve prevention, diagnosis & acute treatment to cure stroke.
Providing donor stool to treat patients with bowel conditions and foster research into faecal transplant as a treatment.
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Did you know that by the end of this year, its predicted breast cancer will be the most prevalent cancer in Australia?
Despite this heartbreaking statistic, to date there is little treatment that can combat breast cancer that has metastasised or spread to other areas of the body. Sadly, this is because many patients become resistant to current treatments over time.
Thanks to the incredible generosity of one of our very special donors, Dr Margaret Elcombe, our researchers have been awarded the Elcombe Pre-Clinical Project Grant to pursue a very promising new treatment avenue for breast cancer that has spread which if successful would be far less toxic than current treatments.
Dr Jenny Hardingham and Dr Amanda Townsend from the Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research (BHI) are part of a world-class research team working on this project, alongside Dr Yoko Tomita, Professor Andrea Yool, Associate Professor Wendy Ingman, Professor Tim Price and Professor Andreas Evdokiou.
“We’re excited by the possibility of a new therapy for metastatic breast cancer without the toxicity of current therapeutic drug treatments,” Dr Hardingham said.
“For someone with metastatic breast cancer there are a reasonable number of treatment options but eventually sadly patients become resistant to them,” Dr Townsend added.
Through previous research into bowel cancer, the team has discovered a particular protein that also plays a crucial role in the growth of breast cancer and the spread of cancer to other areas of the body.
“A protein called Aquaporin 1, a water channel protein, has been proved to play a vital role in assisting breast cancer cells to move to other areas of the body,” Dr Hardingham explained.
“This discovery provoked the suggestion that if we inhibit or block the action of this protein this may lead to a new cancer therapy.”
Thanks to the Margaret Elcombe Research Fellowship, Dr Townsend and Dr Hardingham are now exploring the effectiveness of two different inhibitors that could block the action of this protein and in turn stop breast cancer from growing and also spreading.
“It was found that if we blocked this particular protein it stopped angiogenesis, which is the formation of new blood vessels. New blood vessels are crucial for supplying the cancer tumour with the nutrients and oxygen it needs to survive, so without angiogenesis the tumour would not be able to grow,” Dr Hardingham said.
“This angiogenic process is also crucial for providing blood vessel access to enable cancer tumour cells to metastasise to distant sites such as lung or bone.
“These are the first inhibitors world-wide that target the Aquaporin 1 water channel that is so important for angiogenesis and metastasis.”
If Dr Townsend and Dr Hardingham and their expert team can prove these inhibitors to be successful in helping to limit the growth and spread of metastatic breast cancer, the next step for this research will be a clinical trial.
“We’re looking at a new treatment that will be far less toxic then current chemotherapy treatments and have far fewer side effects. If we’re successful in pre-clinical studies, the next step will be a clinical trial for a new therapy for metastatic breast cancer,” Dr Townsend said.
The support of the Margaret Elcombe Research Fellowship will allow Dr Townsend, Dr Hardingham and the team to continue this vital research for three years, in the hopes of improving outcomes and saving the lives of women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in the future.
Did you know, every day in Australia approximately 50 people are diagnosed with breast cancer? read more
It was a pain in her right breast, like that of a torn muscle, which led young mother Kate Shields to a breast cancer diagnosis that she never saw coming. In January last year the 38-year-old mother was diagnosed with aggressive hormonal breast cancer. read more
Always fit and healthy, 56-year-old Deb Holsman never thought she would be diagnosed with breast cancer, let alone one of the most heartbreaking forms of the disease. read more
The Breast Cancer Research Unit at the Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research (BHI) are determined to develop a new immunotherapy treatment to target breast cancer and other heartbreaking cancers affecting our community. read more
Thanks to your generous support, each year The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) funds travel grants to support researchers and students to attend various conferences and meetings relevant to their field of research, having the opportunity to network with fellow researchers around the globe. read more
Head of the Cell Signalling Laboratory at the Centre for Cancer Biology (CCB), Associate Professor Yeesim Khew-Goodall is leading a crucial research project focused on overcoming resistance to cancer therapy, particularly in triple negative breast cancer. read more
Can you imagine being diagnosed with a type of cancer that has no targeted treatments? This could change thanks to researchers at the Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research (BHI) who are working hard to investigate possible treatments for triple negative breast cancer. read more
World-first research is underway at the Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research (BHI) focusing on using our own immune system to fight solid cancers such as breast cancer with potential for other cancers. read more
Leading cutting-edge research into inflammation in a variety of cancers, Professor Vinay Tergaonkar from Singapore’s Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*Star) joined the Centre for Cancer Biology (CCB) in 2016, a unique new research laboratory collaboration. read more