What we funded in the 2020/2021 financial year
local cancer researchers supported
WA-based research projects funded
Click the headings below to find out more about the projects we have been able to fund in 2021 thanks to community donations and support.
Research Excellence Awards
The Cancer Council WA Research Excellence Awards have been established to recognise and celebrate the achievements of Western Australia’s best and brightest cancer researchers. They also serve to reinforce the importance of cancer research as an aspirational career choice and provide encouragement for the next generation of leading cancer researchers.
Research Project Grants
Our Research Project Grants aim to provide one to two years of support to help local, world-class cancer researchers further their research. Grants are initially short-listed through the national expert review process of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and are then further assessed by the Cancer Council WA Research Grants Advisory Committee.
Grant applications are assessed on the basis of quality, practicality, value for money and contribution to the advancement of cancer knowledge.
See below the 2021 Cancer Council WA Research Project Grants
Collaborative Cancer Research Grant Scheme
In 2021 this scheme is supported by Cancer Council WA, Government of Western Australia, Cancer Research Trust, Charlies Foundation for Research, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, The University of Western Australia and Telethon Kids Institute.
See the full list of recipients below.
Suzanne Cavanagh Early Career Investigator Grants
Early Career Investigator Grants are designed to help talented early career cancer researchers develop the skills and necessary track record to advance their career. These one year awards give many researchers their first step in their career as an independent cancer researcher.
See below for the 2021 grant receipients.
Our Research Fellowships fund outstanding biomedical and health researchers working in the field of cancer so they can undertake research of major importance. They provide salary support for up to five years with the aim of advancing the quality and impact of cancer research in WA and promoting collaboration and partnerships, locally, nationally and internationally.
Full list of 2021 Cancer Council WA Research Fellowships:
Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Postdoctoral Research Fellowships give support for cancer researchers in the early stages of their career, providing improved career stability and encouraging the best and brightest young researchers to continue in the discipline of cancer research. These fellowships provide funding over a period of three years.
See the full list of 2021 recipients:
PhD Top Up Scholarships
These three year PhD Top Up Scholarships are awarded to applicants who have an outstanding academic record and the potential to pursue full-time PhD studies in cancer-related research.
See the full list of 2021 recipients below:
Student Vacation Research Scholarships
Cancer Council WA Student Vacation Research Scholarships offer talented university students a taste of what cancer research can offer. They offer students a small stipend to conduct a specific research project over a period of four to 10 weeks.
Full list of 2021 recipients:
Cancer Research Trust Enabling Grant
The Cancer Research Trust Enabling Grants were established in 2009 to promote and support collaborative cancer research in WA and make a globally-significant contribution to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer.
See full list of recipients:
Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour Initiative (GIST)
The objective of the Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour Initiative is to direct funds to advance the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal stromal cancer
|Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumours: Towards better outcome prediction and therapy
|Prof Ruth Ganss
|The Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research
|A/Prof Juliana Hamzah, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research
Prof Alistair Forrest, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research
Dr Hooi Ee, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
Clin Prof Priyanthi Kumarasinghe, PathWest
Dr Mickael Johansson, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
Dr Louise Winteringham, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research
|Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) arise from our digestive organs, for instance the stomach and intestine. If the cancer is discovered early, surgical removal may lead to a cure, but some cancers re-grow even after surgery. So-called advanced GIST have already spread to distant organs and in most cases are treated with a drug called Gleevec. Most advanced GIST patients respond well to this drug which slows cancer growth. However, 90 per cent of patients eventually become non-responsive to the drug due to drug resistance, enabling the cancer to progress and spread.
This project has two parts:
Therefore, this research program aims at improving GIST prognostics and developing new therapies which harness the immune system.
|Funding from Cancer Council WA:
|$41,557 in 2021 (total $514,950 for 2018-2020)
|The initiative for cancer research into the diagnosis and treatment of Gastro Intestinal Stromal Cancer through the provision of the late Sandra O’Keefe by including a gift in her Will to make this research possible
Prostate Cancer Research Initiative
The objective of the Prostate Cancer Initiative is to direct funds to advance the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.
|Can a telehealth delivered exercise program with nutritional advice be as effective as a supervised clinic-based exercise and nutrition program for weight loss and health enhancement in overweight and obese men with prostate cancer?
|Prof Daniel Galvão
|Edith Cowan University
|Prof Rob Newton , Edith Cowan University
Prof Dennis Taaffe, Edith Cowan University
Prof Dickon Hayne, Fiona Stanley Hospital
Prof Suzanna Chambers, University of Technology Sydney
Dr Colin Tang, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
Prof Amanda Devine, Edith Cowan University
Prof Nigel Spry, Edith Cowan University
Prof David Joseph, 5D Clinics
Mr Pedro Lopez Da Cruz, Edith Cowan University
|Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in Australia and the second most common cause of cancer-related death. Men who are overweight/obese are at increased risk for treatment-related side-effects and increased risk of the cancer to spread. A common treatment undertaken by men with prostate cancer is hormone therapy, however, it leads to an increase in weight due to gains in fat mass while muscle mass is lost. Therefore, treatments to improve weight loss are important, especially for those who have been exposed to hormone therapy. To date, strategies to combat this weight gain have been ineffective.
The team recently showed a clinic-based targeted and supervised exercise and nutrition program to be effective in reducing fat mass by ~3kg in these men. The problem is that not all men would have access to such a program, such as those in regional, rural and remote settings, or have the financial ability to pay. Telehealth has emerged as a viable way to deliver healthcare. The aim of the project is to determine if the program delivered via telehealth is as effective as the supervised clinic-based program for fat weight loss, reducing cardiovascular disease risk, and enhancing physical and mental health in overweight/obese men with prostate cancer.
The study will recruit 104 overweight/obese men with prostate cancer and current or past usage of hormones and randomise them to a telehealth delivered program or the supervised clinic-based program for six months and then follow them for an additional six months. The clinic-based exercise program, which comprises of resistance and aerobic training, with nutritional advice will be the same as that in the pilot study and will be adapted to be delivered by telehealth using the latest technologies such as video chat with remote monitoring.
If the telehealth delivered program is effective, then it can be rolled-out at a low cost to patients, regardless of their financial position or where they live.
|Funding from Cancer Council WA:
|$150,172 in 2021 ($472,739 total for 2021-2023)
|The initiative for cancer research into the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer through the provision of the late Alan Tuthill by including a gift in his Will to make this research possible
Targeted Specific Funding
A combination of long and short-term research projects of specific strategic importance.
Full list of projects funded: