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  • New support for ovarian cancer research

    09 October 2015

    The inaugural Lin Huddleston Ovarian Cancer Research Fellowship has been awarded to Dr Carmela Ricciardelli from the School of Medicine, Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide, by Cancer Council SA.

    The new Fellowship will advance biomedical science in ovarian cancer, contribute to the national and international body of research, and lead and mentor the next wave of talent to ensure that South Australia continues to contribute world-class ovarian cancer research.

    Cancer Council SA envisages that this will move us towards better screening, detection and treatments for ovarian cancer and ensure women who are diagnosed have every possible chance of a disease free future without impact.

    Cancer Council SA Chief Executive, Lincoln Size, said it is vital to be able to support leading researchers to progress cutting edge cancer research here in Adelaide.

    “We are delighted to have been able to award this Fellowship and we thank the Lin Huddleston Charitable Foundation for their commitment to cancer research here in South Australia,” Mr Size said.

    “Dr Carmela Ricciardelli is an extremely dedicated ovarian cancer researcher and we are delighted that her work can greatly benefit from this financial support.

    “We are very familiar with Dr Ricciardelli’s great work given she has also received support from Cancer Council’s Beat Cancer Project.”

    The Fellowship amounts to $750,000 over five years, with $100,000 per annum from the Lin Huddleston Charitable Foundation and matched funding of $50,000 per annum from the University of Adelaide.

    Dr Carmela Ricciardelli said that the funding will allow her to continue to help make a difference to women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

    “Ovarian cancer is a devastating disease and the leading cause of death from gynaecological cancers, affecting approximately 1 in 80 women in Australia,” Dr Ricciardelli said.

    “Over 70% of women present with advanced disease, and despite improvements in surgery and new developments in chemotherapy, ovarian cancer mortality rates have not changed dramatically over the last two decades.

    “My research program has focused on understanding the communication between ovarian cancer cells and their microenvironment and how this relates to mechanisms of cancer spread and chemotherapy resistance.

    “The tumour microenvironment is an understudied area of cancer research. We know that it plays an important role in cancer progression.

    “Our research holds promise to result in new treatment strategies and new methods of early ovarian cancer detection to improve patient survival.

    “Significant improvement in ovarian cancer survival will require a greater understanding of the mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance and the development of more effective molecularly targeted therapeutics (i.e. drugs that interfere with cancer cell growth and survival).”

    Ovarian cancer statistics
    • In 2011, there were 1,330 cases of ovarian cancer and 933 deaths associated with ovarian cancer in Australia
    • By 2016 it is estimated there will be 1,430 cases and 1,040 deaths associated with ovarian cancer in Australia
    • The five-year relative survival at diagnosis (i.e. the proportion of females alive five years after diagnosed with ovarian cancer) is 43%

    For cancer information and support, please call our experienced nurses at Cancer Council 13 11 20, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 5:30 pm.


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