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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.

Leading this revolutionary research is Professor Andreas Evdokiou who was awarded the Margaret Elcombe Research Fellowship, thanks to a generous donor from The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) in partnership with Australian Breast Cancer Research (ABCR).

Prof Evdokiou, together with Dr Irene Zinonos, PhD student Namfon (Bee) Pantarat and Masters student Panos Panagopoulos are developing a non-invasive injectable gel filled with patient’s own cancer fighting T cells to be targeted directly to the cancerous tumour site.

“The T cells will be infused into the gel, keeping them together locked in and the gel will be injected into the tumour environment where the T cells will identify and eliminate cancer cells whilst leaving normal cells unharmed,” Prof Evdokiou said.

“This is the first time that such an approach has been developed and if successful, it will maximise the success of current surgical interventions. Potentially this could be an alternative method from chemotherapy and radiotherapy which are often the therapeutic standards after surgically removing the tumour,” Prof Evdokiou said.

With previous research already demonstrating promising results, Prof Evdokiou is hoping to identify the best injectable system with the ideal characteristics for T cells to survive and migrate to the tumour site whilst maintaining their effectiveness of killing cancer cells.

With this research being a potential therapeutic treatment for breast cancer, Prof Evdokiou is collaborating with researchers in Australia and overseas, including the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York, one of the world’s top cancer centres.

This groundbreaking research has vital potential for those cancers that are difficult or dangerous to remove such as brain cancer and spinal cancers. It will also benefit those patients who are medically inoperable due to other health conditions such as heart disease or cannot withstand surgery.

It is thanks to your support that Prof Evdokiou and his team have this opportunity to continue their fight against cancer, potentially saving the lives of the thousands of Australian women fighting breast cancer.

“We are extremely grateful to have been awarded the Margaret Elcombe Fellowship provided through THRF and ABCR and the generous Margaret Elcombe who’s made this possible. These much needed funds will ensure the successful completion of this preclinical project that will help us move quickly towards translating this into clinical practice,” Prof Evdokiou said.

We look forward to updating you on Prof Evdokiou and his teams promising research as together, with your support, they continue the fight against breast cancer.

If you like to support this revolutionary research please click here to make a donation.

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