Research in Action
A Second Opinion & New Research
When he was shown the scans from his first urologist, there was no explanation. Black spots and blotches were scattered across his skeletal form. It wasn’t until a few months later that George sought a second opinion with Professor Lisa Horvath at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
At his first appointment, Professor Horvath pointed out the dark blotches and empty spaces that no one had explained to him before.
“That area’s not cancer,” she said. “You’re only early stage four. I think I can give you some more time.”
Those words meant hope to Connie and George, and soon after that George was placed on a chemotherapy drug called docetaxel.
“I started with docetaxel and the side effects were horrific – swollen fingers and feet, nausea, aches and pains – but it worked. My tumours shrunk.”
Many people aren’t as fortunate as George. Docetaxel can ravage the body but then have no effect on the tumour. For these patients, worse than having no effect, this also delays the start of other therapies that could stunt the growth of the cancer and prolong life.
Professor Horvath and her team have been working on a personalised blood test that can detect the effect this specific chemotherapy drug (docetaxel) has on a person and their cancer.
This research was only made possible because of supporters like you.
Donor Support Makes Cancer Research Possible
With only 11-13% of all research getting government funding in Australia, most researchers rely on additional funding, which isn’t possible without generous donations from supporters like you.
In 2019, we were able to raise enough funding to enable Professor Lisa Horvath to continue her clinical trial to identify whether docetaxel will work on an individual’s tumour before treatment.
For George, the weariness and pain caused by the treatment surfaces regularly as a reminder. But he is incredibly thankful for the precious extra time he has been given to spend with his wife and family.
Our donors and supporters helped make this research possible, and, together with our researchers and clinicians, are helping to not only improve treatments for prostate cancer, but ALL cancer.
Learn more about the other research being conducted at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.