An important research program on liver cancer, led by Australia's first Microbiology Research Center, received a $ 3 million donation from philanthropist Sir Owen Glenn.
The program will study the links between intestinal health and liver cancer, optimizing treatment options and examining the potential impact of the microbiome on the immune response to cancer.
The Microbiome Research Center is a collaboration between the St. George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation, UNSW Sydney and the Southeast Sydney Local Health District.
The MRC is located at St George & Sutherland Clinical School of UNSW Medicine, headquartered at St George Hospital. Led by UNSW professor of medicine Emad El-Omar, the Center brings together scientists and clinicians on a campus to support research programs to examine the impact of the microbiome on obesity, diabetes, fetal health, allergies and cancer.
"By investing in liver cancer research, I hope we can find better and more effective ways to treat this disease – and prevent it all," said Sir Owen, one of New Zealand's most successful entrepreneurs who donated millions to charitable causes in Worldwide. world. Sir Owen was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2012 and has since undergone treatment.
The research program, which will run for three years, will be led by UNSW Associate Professor of Medicine, Amany Zekry.
"In the pre-cancer phase, the results will have important preventive implications in terms of early identification of patients at risk of developing liver cancer," says associate professor Zekry.
"We are currently examining the interaction between the microbiome, its metabolites and immunological and inflammatory responses. Based on the results, we plan to conduct preclinical interventional studies to examine the role of intestinal microbiome manipulation in reducing the risk of liver damage and the development of liver cancer, "she says.
"To strengthen the program, Professor El Omar facilitated the establishment of national and international collaborations with experts in the field."
Professor Rodney Phillips, director of medicine at UNSW, said: "The research conducted by UNSW Medicine Clinical Researchers at the MRC, led by Professor Emad El Omar, is truly world-class. We are committed to ensuring such a generous investment in our cancer research that has a real impact on the community. "
Jacquie Stratford, CEO of the St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation, said that Sir Owen's gift was the largest private donation that St George and the Sutherland Medical Research Foundation received.