Mesothelioma

Dr Amanda Hudson, Dr Chris Weir, Ms Rozelle Harvie, Ms Liz Millar, A/Prof Nick Pavlakis, Prof Stephen Clarke, A/Prof Viive Howell

Mesothelioma is a relatively rare and aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibres. Unfortunately current treatments do not work well which means that people with mesothelioma do not live very long.

By the time people know they have mesothelioma they generally only have 1 year of life left. Thus there is an urgent need to find new treatments to help people with this cancer survive.

We are using a model system to try and understand what makes mesothelioma cells different to normal cells and how these cells are able to escape death when treated with anti-cancer drugs.

The overall aim is to exploit these differences (between the cancer and normal cells) to find new treatments that will work against mesothelioma and increase survival for people affected with mesothelioma.

Funding: Donations for Mesothelioma Research to the Bill Walsh Cancer Research Fund

 

Improved treatment for mesothelioma: Can cannabinoids address this unmet need?

Dr Emily Colvin,  Dr Amanda Hudson, A/Prof Viive Howell, A/Prof Helen Wheeler

Research to date shows that cannabinoids can alleviate the nausea and wasting seen in cancer patients.

Preliminary results in cancer cells also suggest they have the potential to inhibit tumour growth and overcome resistance to standard chemotherapeutic agents. This project will screen the efficacy of multiple cannabinoids in certain types of cancer.

Our initial focus will be on mesothelioma, which has a very poor prognosis due to a lack of treatment options. Research will initially involve testing cannabinoids in cellular and animal models of mesothelioma, leading to clinical trials with the most promising candidates.

Funded by: The Lambert Initiative, University of Sydney