The role of the B-raf oncogene in the behaviour and resistance to apoptosis of human melanoma cell lines.
Metastatic melanoma is a serious disease of great significance to New Zealand because of its association with exposure to sunlight. It is very resistant to treatment and it is thought that a particular gene called BRAF, which is mutated in about in 70% of melanomas, is one of the main culprits. This project takes advantage of our unique resource of over 40 melanoma cell lines that we have developed from individual melanoma patients, and we will use these to study the role of BRAF in detail. The results will help our overall quest to develop new treatments for melanoma.
Studies of Melanoma Precursor Cells
The skin cancer melanoma develops when the cells that form pigment in the skin, the melanocytes, become cancerous. To understand how these cells become cancerous, we need to be able to grow human melanocytes in the laboratory. This project will develop new techniques to grow human melanocytes, both from healthy human skin and also from moles excised from the skin. Studying how these cells behave in the laboratory will suggest new ways to detect pre-cancerous melanoma, and new targets for melanoma prevention and therapy.
Anticancer drugs that target plasma membrane electron transport: evaluation in mouse models of cancer.
We have identified a new cancer drug target in the outer membrane of tumour cells and propose to investigate the effects of known drugs, and novel chemical compounds that interfere with this target, on the growth of tumours in mice. The approach being taken, which has not been previously attempted, will block cancer cell metabolism at the level of the cell membrane. This should eliminate the many undesirable side effects associated with most current anticancer drugs. In addition, multi-drug resistance should be avoided and preliminary results suggest that cancer cells may be sensitized to currently used drugs.
Assessment of the influence of timing of post-lumpectomy radiation therapy on local recurrence in early breast cancer.
If breast cancer is detected at an early stage, it is usually possible to treat the cancer with a combination of surgery, followed by radiation treatment. This enables the woman to retain her breast, which is important to many women. However, if the radiation treatment is delayed, it may lose some of its effectiveness and the cancer may re-grow. If this occurs, a mastectomy is needed. This project will look at the cancer recurrences in NZ women who had delays in treatment due to staffing shortages in NZ in the past few years. If this demonstrates an increased risk of recurrence, this will help resource planning in the future.
To Fund International Speakers to the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre Fiftieth Anniversary Symposium
The aim of this meeting, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the establishment of a cancer research laboratory in Auckland by the Auckland Cancer Society, is to highlight the achievements of cancer research in both Auckland and in the whole of New Zealand. We wish combine a two day international research symposium with a programme of media coverage including public lectures and newspaper, television and radio items that are aimed at interesting the general public in what can be achieved in cancer research in New Zealand.
One year funding for a Clinical Trials Research Nurse, RCTS MidCentral Health
The MidCentral District Health Board's Regional Cancer Treatment Service(RCTS) has been awarded funds from the Genesis Oncology Trust to employ a Clinical Trials Research Nurse to improve access to clinical trials. In a time of restricted funding for new therapies, the availability of clinical trials enables greater patient access to potentially better treatments. The RCTS provides cancer treatment to a population of about 565,000 people in the Tairawhiti, Taranaki, Hawke's Bay, Whanganui, MidCentral and Wairarapa DHB areas, and at present only 5-10% are entered on to trials. Clinical Director, RCTS, Dr Simon Allan said: "There is an increasing demand for cancer services and the limited resources means that innovative ways of caring for the regional service need to be developed. Greater access to clinical trials improves outcomes for patients and means that our patients are offered the best therapies available world-wide."
Genesis Oncology Trust Breakfast Lecture Series
Hospice New Zealand welcomes the support of Genesis Oncology Trust for the third consecutive year. A grant of $14,400 will enable the extremely popular Genesis Oncology Trust Breakfast lecture series to continue. The series designed and implemented by Hospice New Zealand, the national organisation for hospices is broadcast monthly into more than 45 sites around the country. In hospices and hospitals, health professionals gather to hear expert lectures on topics such as wound care, the needs of the bereaved and palliative care research priorities. The series is designed as an education opportunity not only for clinical staff but to cater also for those who work in the allied health professions. All 37 hospices have access to this valuable training at no cost due to the generous support of the trust.
Guidelines for Wound Management in Palliative Care (publication costs)
New Zealand Cancer Nurse Specialist, Wayne Naylor, is a recognised international expert in wound care for cancer and palliative care patients. These people are at risk of developing wounds that are distressing and complicated to manage. In 2004 Mr Naylor worked with an Auckland hospice to develop wound care guidelines, which could be made available nationally. With the support of the Genesis Oncology Trust these guidelines are now available for distribution to cancer and palliative care providers throughout New Zealand. This is an extremely valuable resource for nurses and other health professionals working in community, hospital and hospice settings.
Development of Trans Tasman guidelines for management of cutaneous melanoma
Melanoma is an aggressive skin cancer that kills hundreds of New Zealanders each year. The best outcome occurs when the correct treatment is used by doctors experienced in melanoma. However there are no NZ guidelines for the correct treatment of melanoma. Therefore, many doctors in NZ use the excellent Australian guidelines (1999) to provide help in treatment patients with melanoma. The Australian guidelines are being updated currently and NZ has been offered an opportunity to join this project. This grant will enable approximately 20 NZ clinicians to join and contribute to the work groups, to create the first "Trans Tasman" guidelines for the treatment of cancer.
Sponsorship of two international speakers for the 2006 NZIMRT national conference
The annual conference of the New Zealand Institute of Medical Radiation Technologists (NZIMRT) will be hosted in Wellington in August, 2006. Medical Radiation Technologists (MRTs) and Radiation Therapists (RTs) work in the health sector providing diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The Wellington conference aims to provide an opportunity for MRTs and RTs to share knowledge of current practice and future improvements in technology. To provide a quality service to the public, professionals working in healthcare need to be involved in continuing education and development. The 2006 national conference will provide an opportunity for members of both professions to achieve this.
To undertake the N406 Applied Pharmacology for Nursing Practice at Otago Polytechnic. This is a post-graduate paper and is part of a pathway towards a Masters Degree in Nursing with a Palliative Care specialty, with the ultimate aim of becoming a Nurse Practitioner in Palliative Care.
To attend the 9th International Electronic Portal Imaging Meeting, being held at Melbourne, 9th to 11th April 2006.The workshop/meeting is being held over three days and the organising committee have confirmed at least five international speakers with expertise in the field of EPI, treatment verification systems. The meeting will have sessions relevant to both Radiation therapists and medical physicists.
To attend the 97th annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) in Washington DC between 1-5 April 2006 and to present some of the results of her PhD research at this forum. The AACR annual meeting is the largest international conference on cancer research worldwide and attracts approximately 15,000 delegates.
To fund two nurses to attend the Teenage Cancer Trust 4th International Conference on Cancer and the Adolescent in London in March 2006.
The Colorectal Cancer Patients' Journey - A pilot study
There are many factors that may affect how quickly patients with cancer seek and receive advice in the health sector. Variations in the time taken at different stages of this journey and in fact the overall time to complete treatment may influence how patients recover both physically and emotionally. This study is designed firstly to gather information about the variations in the timeliness of this journey and then to survey patients for ratings of their satisfaction with their care. The results would guide the conduct of a subsequent national study and perhaps from this a new prospective process to monitor quality of care.