Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is teaming up with one of Europe’s leading cancer treatment centres, the Christie Hospital in Manchester, to embark on meaningful research that will open doors to new knowledge about the spread of bowel cancer.
Bowel cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Australia. If detected early, it can often be treated successfully, however if the cancer has spread to the peritoneum – the membrane covering all the organs in abdomen – treatment options are limited and the average survival rate is just over 12 months.
Research into bowel cancer that has spread to the peritoneum is currently limited. Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is seeking to change this by undertaking research into the molecular structure and behaviour of this disease.
“We’ll be testing the tissue with different drugs to look at not just the cells but the microenvironment – the proteins, molecules and structure around the cell, to see how they interact,” says Kate Mahon, Deputy Director of Medical Oncology at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
“In bowel cancer that has spread to the peritoneum, there is no real research on this at the moment.”
This understanding will help scientists develop new ways to attack and kill this cancer.
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is uniquely placed to conduct this research, as one of the few hospitals in the state with a specialist peritonectomy unit – a centre of highly qualified and skilled colorectal surgeons trained to surgically operate on peritoneal cancer. We are excited to be partnering with the well-established peritonectomy unit at the Christie Hospital in Manchester, UK, and hope to form partnerships with other peritonectomy units around Australia.
Philanthropic support has enabled us to employ a research officer to collect and transfer tissue samples and support the research team through every stage of this study. We are grateful to our donors for enabling this incredible opportunity for groundbreaking research.