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Fight for a Cure Ltd is a Northern Beaches based charity established by the co-Chairperson’s of Fight on the Beaches. Fight on the Beaches holds an annual ‘Christmas in July’ Charity Ball and since its inception 4 years ago, they have raised over $1million to support valuable cancer research. Not only does Fight for a Cure fund breakthrough cancer research and supports early career researchers, they are also focused on the early detection and prevention of cancer at a community level. Fight for a Cure’s first community based early detection program was held in November 2016 and offered local Northern Beaches women the opportunity to undertake fully subsidised breast, cervical and skin cancer screening , together with a complete blood test, while their pre-school aged children were cared for by a qualified childcare professional (at no cost).
The Bill Walsh Laboratory is very fortunate to be named as one of Fight for a Cure’s beneficiaries for 2018 and 2019. In 2018, the money raised by the Fight on the Beaches community went towards funding research by our Dr Sarah Hayes on developing a new breath test for diagnosing lung cancer. Changes in specific proteins found in exhaled breath of lung cancer patients may be an indication of the underlying cancer, presenting a potential screening technique for early detection of this disease. In this project, we are using cutting-edge mass spectrometry to comprehensively map proteins found in human breath from lung cancer patients to identify these proteins. This is the first time ever that the human lung cancer breath proteome (which we have termed the “breathome”) has been profiled by advanced mass spectrometry.
In 2019, Fight for a Cure supported 3 Bill Walsh Lab researchers – Dr Emily Colvin, Dr Malinda Itchins and Dr Sarah Hayes. Dr Colvin’s research is focused on improving ovarian cancer treatment using novel iron oxide nanoparticles. These particles enhance the delivery of chemotherapy to sites of tumour growth, while limiting toxicity to surrounding normal tissues. Dr Itchins’ and Hayes’ co-led project will focus on the laboratory-based research as part of the ALKternate clinical trial. This research will perform DNA and proteomic testing of blood samples collected from patients with a rare lung cancer (ALK+) who are being treated as part of the the ALKternate trial.
In 2020, Fight for a Cure has kindly supported another Bill Walsh Lab researcher – Dr Amanda Hudson. Dr Hudson’s research investigates whether altering the function of brain cancer-associated macrophages is an effective treatment strategy when used in combination with standard of care treatments in brain cancer. The results from this research may provide the foundation for us to explore a new avenue of treatment options and therapies for patients with brain cancer that inhibit the spread of the cancer.