NOA Vision 20-30. Hope for the future

Monday 9 November, marked the launch of the National Oncology Alliance (NOA) Vision 20-30, with a three hour conference hosting major stakeholders, including hosting leading Australian oncologists and researchers, together with presentations from cancer patients and families.

It was three hours that provided hope for the future for those living with a cancer diagnosis, with a particular emphasis on those living with a rare cancer diagnosis. Vision 20-30 will place the magnifying glass on the current systems, and how they fit within the global context, with particular alignment to cell therapies, genomics and personalised therapeutics.

With support from the Minderoo Foundation, the Federal Government, and Rare Cancers Australia, Vision 20-30 will form the basis for advancing cancer in Australia.

Read the full report by pressing the link below.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/thry781cf7vy5b6/NOA_Vision20-30%20FA%20r2%20Digital.pdf?dl=0

CAR-T cell immunotherapy

A project harnessing modified immune cells to target cancers will see Sydney leading innovative cancer therapies.

The University of Sydney and Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) have announced the execution of an agreement with biopharmaceutical company, Biosceptre (BCIQ), to establish a new research program on CAR-T cell immunotherapy, at Westmead, Western Sydney.

To read more about this remarkable research, and Dr Patrick Schlegel, the German paediatric oncologist, and leader in CAR-T technology, who will be leading the Sydney research team, press the link below

https://www.sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2020/10/21/research-program-by-cancer-treatment-pioneer-coming-to-sydney.html

A new biomarker for osteosarcoma

A team of scientists led by Western Australian based scientist Dr. Emel Rothzerg – School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of The University of Western Australia, in Perth (Australia) and the Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science in Nedlands (Australia), reports an association between osteosarcoma and abnormal alternative splicing of the leptin receptor overlapping transcript (LEPROT). 

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1535370220949139

Zero Childhood Cancer $67m boost


The innovative and highly successful Zero Childhood Cancer program (ZERO) has this week received $67 million collaborative funding from the Federal government and Minderoo Foundation, to provide all children and adolescents with cancer the greatest chance of survival.

ZERO has changed the way diagnosis and treatment occur for children with the most aggressive cancers or for those with relapsed cancers. New funding committed by the Commonwealth Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt of $54.8million together with $12.2million from Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation will ensure ZERO is expanded, and will eventually be offered to all children diagnosed with cancer by 2023.

Each year, almost 1000 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer around Australia, and is unfortunately still the most common cause of death from disease

https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/67-million-for-personalised-treatments-for-every-child-with-cancer

NOTTCS/Sony join forces


On Friday the 21st February, a young 20 year old sarcoma patient underwent a life changing egg harvesting and cryogenic preservation at the Alexandria Day Hospital in Sydney, under the watchful eye of Professor William Ledger.  Whilst this may not seem remarkable to those who are fortunate enough not to have to explore such avenues, this young woman is representative of many young cancer patients who slip through the cracks prior to undergoing onerous chemotherapy and surgical regimes to treat their respective cancers.

This process is expensive and it is challenging at times for those who find themselves in need of  seeking fertility treatments, in order to have a child.  It can be argued those with cancer have already been through quite enough without the added burden of infertility.  More often than not the  financial strain of this process  becomes an enormous burden, preventing many from having children.  The emotional and psychological impact of infertility can be immense, and this can me magnified when the patient is young, and has suffered a cancer diagnosis.

This situation is about to change.  A national “pioneering service to transport, freeze and store reproductive tissue for young cancer patients” initiated  by the Sony Foundation stands to revolutionise this process.  “The service – the first of its kind in Australia – will enable medical professionals nationwide to offer free fertility-preserving treatment to youth cancer patients aged 13 – 30 years.”

A gap in the health system for young people with cancer, had been preventing access to affordable fertility preservation options, and this was identified by the Sony Foundation.  “Alarmingly, Currently, only 4 per cent of young women and 1 in 4 young men undergo fertility preservation before chemotherapy, despite research showing infertility is the number one issue that has an identified impact on a young person’s quality of life following cancer. ”

CEO of the Sony Foundation, Sophie Ryan  said: “Sony Foundation’s funding will ensure this innovative fertility service is available for all young people diagnosed with cancer.  No longer will young people miss out on this treatment due to barriers such as lack of access for regional patients, cost and time restrictions. But more importantly, providing access will give young people facing cancer hope and the opportunity to focus on  life after cancer.

The team at the National Ovarian and Testicular Tissue Transport and Cryopreservation Service (NOTTCS) led by Professor Kate Stern, has a demonstrated history of fertility preservation, egg and sperm freezing, counselling and support of patients affected by cancer and fertility issues. “This service will enable tissue to be collected, transported and cryopreserved in Melbourne from patients right around Australia. It will give access to state-of-the-art fertility preservation to young people who might have thought that it’s the end of the road for their fertility, said Professor Stern”.

The Sony Foundation’s mission is for 100% of young people who are diagnosed with cancer to be offered fertility preservation that’s free and easily accessible.

CRBF wish to extend our deepest gratitude to Professor William Ledger, Professor Kate Stern, Dr Henry Liberman, The Alexandria Day Surgery Hospital, Kerri and the staff at IVF Australia, Bondi, and Emma Pechey from the Sony Foundaiton.

For further information on the Nationals Ovarian and Testicular Tissue Transport Service:

Call: (03) 83453227

Email: NOTTCS@thewomens.org.au

IVF Australia https://www.ivf.com.au/clinics/bondi-junction-fertility-clinic