Your participation in The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer® will support groundbreaking, critical cancer research being undertaken at the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research.
WAIMR is Western Australia’s premier adult medical research institute, investigating the genetic and environmental causes of a range of diseases. Your participation in The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer will help to ensure the sustainability of this groundbreaking work.Your participation in The Ride will help impact the lives of thousands by helping WAIMR continue to excel with the help of your funds:
SLIRP Gene Unveiled
WAIMR researchers have discovered a new gene that could lead to breakthroughs in breast and prostate cancer, as well as diabetes. The gene, called SLIRP, was discovered by a team in the Laboratory for Cancer Medicine, led by Professor Peter Leedman, in collaboration with Professor Bert O’Malley’s team at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. SLIRP has the potential to shut down oestrogen in breast cancer cells and testosterone in prostate cancer cells. As most of those cancers depend on the hormones to stay alive, SLIRP may be used to block the hormones which could open the door to targeted new treatments. The benefit of these so-called ‘smart’ drugs is that they can reduce side effects for patients.
Tumour Suppressor Gene Uncovered
The discovery by WAIMR scientists of a tumour suppressor gene is providing fresh hope of tackling a number of cancers. The gene, known as HLS5, may be able to be used to slow the rate of some cancers. In effect, HLS5 acts in much thesame way as a brake cable in a car - if the cable is cut, then the gene can’t do its job and cell growth can’t be controlled, leading to cancer. The research could lead to the development of a drug that mimics HLS5 to slow and even stop the growth of cancer cells.
Reversing Blood Vessel Growth to Beat Tumours
WAIMR Associate Professor Ruth Ganss is pioneering a new approach to tackling tumours. An international leader in her field, the research could lead to improved treatments to battle a range of cancers. Her work focuses on reversing and re-arranging the growth of new blood vessels that give life to tumours, in a bid to pave the way for the body’s immune cells to enter the tumour and destroy it. The growth of blood vessels inside tumours stops disease fighting cells in their tracks. Associate Professor Ganss said it was possible to “normalise” the blood vessels, thus opening up the tumour to the immune system. The technique could be used to create highly specific and effective therapies that would only focus on cancer cells.
Mitochondrial Genes which Cause Cancer
A WAIMR team headed by Dr Aleksandra Filipovska is investigating how mutations in mitochondrial genes cause prostate cancer. All cells contain mitochondria, which produce energy for the body and there is a small set of genes within the mitochondria. Mutations in these genes cause many diseases including cancer. This team is developing novel therapeutics to help treat cancers.
Vision for a Treatment Centre
The Scott Kirkbride Melanoma Research Centre (SKMRC) would like to see an integrated melanoma clinical research and treatment centre established for melanoma patients in Western Australia. The centre would provide a collaboration of oncologists, dermatologists, counsellors, surgeons and pathologists for state-of-the-art treatments for patients as well as new research.