Characterisation of novel secreted oncogenes implicated in autocrine growth hormone mediated mammary gland carcinogenesis
Breast cancer is the most prevalent malignancy with the highest mortality rate in women from western societies. More specifically New Zealand has one of the highest rates of cancer in the OECD with 1 in 10 females developing it in their lifetimes. While some dramatic scientific advances have been made cancer still remains a major cause of death. The local production of growth hormone in the breast is a key mediator of cancer development. This research will focus on characterising several novel molecules implicated in breast cancer, of which targeted therapeutics can be generated against.
(including a $50,000 grant from Westpac Institutional Bank)
Life After Cancer Study, Phase 1
Many cancer survivors suffer from long-term effects that start during cancer treatment and persist for many years beyond. Even when cancer has been completely eliminated, many survivors have persistent problems, such as fatigue, anxiety about cancer recurrence, sexual difficulties, depression, and workplace problems. We do not know how many long-term cancer survivors live in New Zealand or what issues are important to them. This study will identify those issues by asking 240 survivors in New Zealand what is important to them. A larger nationwide survey of cancer survivors will follow using lessons learned in this preliminary study.
Did free school milk reduce the risk of colorectal cancer?
Calcium supplementation has been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal adenomas, precursors to bowel cancer. New Zealand has the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world but the risk is significantly reduced in men and women born about 1941 to 1956. These generations received free school milk and this study will assess whether the risk of colorectal cancer was reduced as an unintended consequence of this public health initiative. Information will be obtained from men and women with bowel cancer and a random selection of the general population without bowel cancer.
VEGF in tissues from endometrial cancers of a variety of grades and stages.
Cancer cells require their host to create a blood supply to obtain nutrients and proliferate. To stimulate this process cancer cells secrete compounds, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). We observed that individual tumours secrete VEGF to different extents. Hence individualisation of treatment may be vital. Cancer of the endometrium (uterus) involves an organ that, unlike other tissues, makes new blood vessels every month during the menstrual cycle. Therefore by understanding release of VEGF there may be novel approaches revealed for control of tumours in the endometrium.
Exploiting deacetylase activity to enhance anti-cancer drug efficacy
A new class of anti-cancer agents, histone deacetylase inhibitors, target deacetylase enzymes abnormally expressed in cancer. We plan to study these enzymes to understand how they contribute to a fundamental aspect of cancer cell survival, the ability to change metabolism to escape cellular stress. This metabolic change is the target of a new drug development strategy to block cancer cell metabolism at the cell membrane. We plan to exploit this new drug by blocking deacetylase enzymes simultaneously to the membrane stress pathway to maximise the anti-cancer efficacy of both compounds.
Vaccination through the skin to treat skin cancer.
We are developing a new cancer therapy by delivering vaccines through the skin. The skin is easily accessible and is exposed to the external environment, and as such is rich in immune cell populations that can activate immune defence mechanisms. We have found that a vaccine in a crème applied onto pre-treated skin is a useful way to activate the immune system against tumours. In this application we propose to investigate the mechanism by which this vaccine acts, and investigate strategies to improve its efficiency leading to optimal activation of antitumour immune responses, and better tumour rejection.
Purchase of books and journals for library
Hospice Wanganui received a Certificate of Accreditation on 15 December, 2004 - 14 December, 2007, from Quality Health New Zealand (which is the NZ Council on Healthcare Standards). A Certificate for Outstanding Achievement was also received on 15 December, 2004 from Quality Health New Zealand - for outstanding demonstration of best practice in optimising wellness and quality of life. To continue to achieve these standards of excellence, Hospice Wanganui is applying to Genesis Oncology for a $1,000-00 to upgrade our palliative care /oncology library with the latest books and manuals on education/professional development/cancer research/ cancer treatment and relevant new information about palliative/oncology care for our medical doctors and nursing staff.
An investigation into the link between ATRA-resistance and the degree of glycolytic metabolism in Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia<
Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL) is currently treated with a combination of chemotherapy and the vitamin-A derivate, ATRA. Although this treatment has a 95% remission rate, up to 30% of patients relapse within 5 years. We have recently found a potential link between ATRA-resistance and the type of energy-producing pathway used by leukemic cells in the laboratory. This project will test whether such a link exists for leukemic cells in the bone marrow of APL patients and will pilot a new test for measuring different energy pathways. The results may contribute to the development of tailored therapies for APL patients.
Genesis Oncology Trust Breakfast Lecture Series<
Hospice New Zealand is delighted to work with Genesis Oncology Trust for the fourth consecutive year to provide the incredibly popular breakfast lecture series. The grant of $28,000 will enable the fifty sites currently tuning into the lectures to continue to do so free of charge. The expanded project allows a new key group of medical professionals to be involved with the lectures now available through the countries twenty one DHB's. Each month more than seventy sites around the country will dial in to listen to a lecture specifically covering the many multidisciplinary aspects of palliative care. The series is designed to cater for clinical staff but also for the teams who work in the allied health care profession. Thanks to the support of Genesis Oncology Trust this education opportunity is without cost to participants.
Case based teaching of oncology to medical students - web-based learning
The teaching of cancer in medical schools is often fragmented and poorly represented, despite the high incidence and death rate from cancer in NZ. To unify the teaching of cancer, we have created a series of patient journeys for patients with bowel cancer. These cases are web-based and are centred around the patient's experiences as they undergo investigations and treatment. Bowel cancer was chosen because it is common and its management requires input from a wide range of specialists. This web-based teaching will emphasise the human element and will give students an holistic appreciation of the management of cancer.
Genesis Oncology Trust Nurse Fellow: Mercy Hospice Auckland
Thanks to funding provided by Genesis Oncology Trust, Mercy Hospice Auckland has appointed a Nurse Fellow for the next 12 months. This post has been created to foster professional development and to assist the hospice with three major projects which will affect those people receiving palliative care in the Auckland community. The hospice will establish User Groups for people and families using its service; it will provide more information and tailor its services to further meet the needs of a growing Asian population and will offer an advanced clinical assessment skills teaching programme to its nurses.
Printing of the new 3rd Edition 2006 Palliative Care Handbook (incorporating the Nurse Maude palliative care formulary)
The Palliative Care Handbook is a valuable resource for health care professionals involved in the care of the terminally ill. Written by a clinical pharmacist and two palliative care consultants it contains symptom management guidelines and drug information to aid in the care of dying patients by their primary health care team. It is also used as a teaching aid for medical and nursing students. By awarding a grant for the writing and printing of the next edition of this valuable resource Genesis Oncology Trust will be making a significant contribution to the quality of palliative care delivered by health care professionals in New Zealand.
To undertake N406.1, Pharmacology for Nurse Prescribing in Speciality Practice, and N403.5, Integrated Practicum, at Otago Polytechnic in 2007
To attend "Cancer Survivorship: Embracing the Future", sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. to be held in Bethesda,Maryland, USA, October 4-6, 2006
To attend the "Hospice & Palliative Care Study Seminar in Britain"
To complete two Masters papers in 2007 which will conclude the required number of papers required for a Masters in Nursing (Clinical) through Victoria University in Wellington
To attend the American Association for Cancer Research 98th Annual Meeting, April 14-18, 2007, Los Angeles, CA, USA
To attend three scientific meetings in Lorne, Australia, in February 2007. The 12th Annual Proteomics Symposium, 2-4th February 2007. The 32nd Lorne Conference on Protein Structure and Function, 4-8th February 2007. The 19th Lorne Cancer Conference, 8th-10th February
To participate in the 4th International Multidisciplinary Conference on Spirituality and Health, Vancouver, BC, Canada
To undertake a Master's Degree and training in Nurse Colposcopist role required to become Nurse Practitioner in Women's Health
To undertake a clinical attachment at St. Columba's Hospice, Edinburgh, to experience Palliative Care in a larger setting, and one in which there is considerable experience of academic excellence and research
Neuroblastoma Modeling - Towards Development of Targeted Therapy for High Risk Neuroblastoma - Clinical and Research Training Fellowship to be undertaken at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, USA.
Concurrent Carboplatin, Paclitaxel and Selenomethionine in Combination with Radiation for Patients with Unresectable Stage III Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Phase II Trial
Lung cancer is common in NZ and the best treatment for some people is chemotherapy and radiotherapy at the same time. While this can be helpful in controlling the disease for many patients, it does not cure most of them and causes a lot of short-term side effects, such as pain and ulcers in the gullet, and severe inflammation in the lungs. We hope that giving patients capsules of a natural trace mineral called selenium will improve the side effects of this treatment, and help it to work more effectively. This will be tested in a phase II clinical trial.