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APCRC–Q’s Dr Patrick Ling awarded TWO highly-competitive NHMRC project Grants

Dr Patrick Ling, Vice Chancellor Fellow at the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre (APCRC-Q), was delighted to hear that he has been awarded two National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project grants.

NHMRC grants are highly competitive and this is an outstanding achievement that speaks to the promise of this talented young investigator.

Grant money makes crucial cancer research possible

The announcement, made on Monday 17th October, 2011, specified that the NHMRC would make a total of $1.1million in funds available to Dr Ling for use in two critical research areas in the treatment of prostate cancer – namely:

  1. The identification of a new therapeutic target for the treatment of prostate cancer, and
  2. The study of how prostate tumour metastasizes to bone.

“Research funded by these grants will allow us to understand why prostate cancer preferentially metastasizes to the bone,” explains Dr Ling, “and will help us to develop novel treatments to be used against the metastatic disease.”

“In addition, the grants will provide us with the financial support we need to test a new anti-cancer therapeutic target in the treatment of castration resistant prostate cancer,” he adds.

Important implications for the APCRC-Q — and for prostate cancer patients!

Both projects are central to the aims of the APCRC-Q and the Centre’s Executive Director, Professor Colleen Nelson, is delighted with Dr Ling’s success.

“We are all very pleased and proud of Patrick who deserves our congratulations for his hard work and determination,” says Professor Nelson. “These grants will help our centre move closer to our goals of finding therapeutic targets in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer and understanding the metastasis of the disease.”

Dr Ling agrees: “We expect that the completion of both these studies will lead to the development of effective therapies in the treatment of advanced stage prostate cancer patients.”

Involvement in an active centre with strong expertise makes the difference

Dr Ling has the following advice for aspiring NHMRC grant applicants: “Apart from solid preliminary data — working in a reputable research centre, with a strong focus on your area of interest, is of great advantage.”

“In my case, working in the APCRC-Q, where the focus is solely on prostate cancer, gave me a distinct advantage — especially as we have a strong team and all the expertise required to achieve the goals we outlined in our proposals for the projects.”

The next step...

“My immediate plans, now that I have the grants, are to find and recruit researchers to work on these studies within the APCRC-Q,” says Dr Ling.

Media release

Media Release Contact:

Melissa Raassina
Communications Coordinator
Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland
Level 1, Building 1, Princess Alexandra Hospital
199 Ipswich Rd, Brisbane QLD 4102
t:
07 3176 1894
f: 07 3176 7440
e: melissa.raassina@qut.edu.au

APCRC-Q’s Prof Pamela Russell wins 2015 Women in Technology Life Sciences Award

APCRC-Q Head of Imaging and Tumour Models, Professor Pam Russell, was awarded the Women in Technology (WiT) Life Sciences Outstanding Achievement Award at a gala event at the Royal International Convention Centre in Brisbane on Friday evening, 28 August 2015.

Prof Russell was recognised for her contribution to treating autoimmune diseases and generating bladder and prostate cancer models for study.

 “On behalf of the APCRC-Q I would like to congratulate Pam,” said Prof Colleen Nelson, Executive Director of the APCRC-Q. “This is a great achievement and very well-deserved.”

WiT president Fiona Hayes said the awards, now in their 18th year, continue to grow as nominations for this year were up by 50% across nine award categories. “The WiT awards celebrate women who are experts in their fields and succeeding in male dominated technology and life science positions. These women are exceptional role models for young women considering a career in technology or life sciences”, said Ms Hayes.

APCRC-Q's NHMRC Project Grant Success

APCRC-Q researchers received more than $1.1 million in funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grant Scheme announced on Friday 19 October 2012.

APCRC-Q researchers received more than $1.1 million in funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project grants announced on Friday 19 October 2012.

Of the 4,743 applications received in this extremely competitive grant round, a grand total 1,141 received grants, bringing the overall success rate to 22.1%.

Among the APCRC-Q’s two successful applications was Professor Pamela Russell’s project, entitled: “Simultaneous Imaging and Drug Delivery for Prostate Cancer Theranostics”.  Professor Russell will be collaborating closely with Professor Andrew Whittaker and Dr Kristofer Thurecht from the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN).  Professor Russell’s project focuses on the use of a highly-sensitive 19F-molecular imaging agent, developed by the project team, which has the potential to both diagnose and treat advanced prostate cancer. This agent will be further modified to create a targeted therapy for advanced prostate cancer, diminishing the side effects to other organs of today’s therapies and allowing the results of treatment to be imaged. It may also prove useful for improved clinical staging for locoregional disease.

 “This project has far reaching implications for both clinicians and patients in the diagnosis and treatment of advanced prostate cancer,” said Professor Russell, “and I am very pleased to be the recipient of this grant, which will make this ground-breaking study possible.”

APCRC-Q’s Dr Jyotsna Batra and Professor Judith Clements, and their colleague Dr Amanda Spurdle from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research also received funding for their project titled “Identification and characterisation of a novel genetic signature at the 5p15 region associated with risk of prostate cancer”.  Following on from their recent success in replicating the genetic association of a region (5p15) with the risk of prostate cancer in Australian men; in this project, the researchers seek to identify the precise genetic variant behind this association, and the functional role of these novel gene/s and variants in disease pathology. Their results will provide a foundation for the development of sensitive and readily applicable lab-based screening tools to be used clinically.

“We are very happy with the success of our application,” said Dr Batra. “The results of this project will provide impetus for drug-targeted research by furthering our understanding on this multi-factorial disease.”

Both projects are central to APCRC-Q’s ongoing research activities.   The Centre’s Executive Director, Professor Colleen Nelson welcomed the NHMRC funding success: “We are all very pleased and proud of Professor Russell, Professor Clements and Dr Batra.  These grants will assist us in furthering the APCRC-Q’s aims to develop new predictive biomarkers, and diagnostic and therapeutic tools with which to detect and treat prostate cancer.”

APCRC - Q's Visit from Dresden, Germany

Drs Froehner and Fuessel spoke at the APCRC - Q’s regular Seminar Series event on the 17th April to an audience of Researchers, Clinicians and general public about their current research in the area of prostate cancer. Dr Froehner shared his research on “Competing Mortality after Radical Prostatectomy”.

Recently, the APCRC - Q was fortunate to receive a visit from Dr Michael Froehner, Specialist in Urology and Senior Physician and Dr Susanne Fuessel, Manager of the Urological Laboratory, both from the Department of Urology at the University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus in Dresden Germany.

The duo are part of a team that flew in from  the Technical University of Dresden to meet with members of Queensland University of Technology’s Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation, as well as medical professionals throughout Brisbane.

The Department of Urology in Dresden provides expertise and advanced treatment methods in all areas of Urology. Experienced staff and well-equipped departments ensure a modern and comprehensive treatment both in general urology and urologic in all specialties. Each year the hospital treats about 4,500 inpatient and 6,600 outpatients. The clinic is one of the largest academic urology centers in Germany and there are medical students, interns and visiting international doctors and scientists in basic and advanced training.

The focus of clinical and basic research, funded by national and international, peer-reviewed research grants are available, particularly in the area of prostate cancer, bladder cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Drs Froehner and Fuessel spoke at the APCRC - Q’s regular Seminar Series event on the 17th April to an audience of Researchers, Clinicians and general public about their current research in the area of prostate cancer. Dr Froehner shared his research on “Competing Mortality after Radical Prostatectomy”.

Dr Fuessel shared the structure within the laboratory at Dresden, in which there is a combined routine and research lab embedded within the Department of Urology, basic and translational research on uro-oncological topics, biobank for cryopreserved tumor tissues, centre for clinical trials and much more.

The visitors met with APCRC—Q researcher the following day to discuss research objectives and opportunities.

More information is available on the Dresden Urology Clinic website.

 

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Current Research Interests

Clinical interests: Diagnostics, surgery and systemic treatment of urological neoplasms; Imaging and differential diagnosis.

Scientific interests: Comorbidity as predictor of survival after radical prostatectomy; Life expectancy and natural history of prostate cancer.

 

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Current Research Interests

  • Prostate cancer (PCa)
  • Bladder cancer (BCa)
  • Renal cell carcinoma (RCC)
  • Multi-functional carbon nanoparticles for biomedical applications

 

 

APCRC-Q Joins the Fight

APCRC-Q once again took part in Movember with an online team, morning tea and miscellaneous donations.
APCRC-Q Joins the Fight

APCRC-Q raising funds for Movember

During November each year, men throughout Australia and the world grow moustaches to raise funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer, and depression in men.

The funds raised are intended for programs run directly by Movember and their men’s health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and beyondblue: the national depression initiative.

APCRC-Q raised over $2,000 for Movember in total.

Applications Now Open: 2012 Merck Translational Research Excellence Award

Merck Australia and Life Sciences Queensland Limited (LSQ) have launched the 2012 Translational Research Excellence Award in order to support the state's burgeoning biotechnology industry and to gain increased health and economic benefits for Members.

This award aims to expand global connections for Queensland science and facilitate more global collaborations for local biotechnology companies.

The award will help to open new doors for Queensland-based life scientists to help lift the state’s success in the global market place.

The 2012 Translational Research Excellence Award will celebrate a project in human health or animal health (therapeutic, diagnostic or device) in Queensland and will raise the profile of the Queensland life science industry and research sector to the media, domestic and international business people, investors and the community.

 

The aim of the award is to provide financial and other assistance to help the winner succeed with their international business development plans. As part of the process, the winner will need to demonstrate how the award will assist towards their opportunity for overseas success.

 

Award

The winner will receive a prize of AU$2,000 reimbursement towards travel and associated costs to join the LSQ delegation to BIO2013 - to be held in Chicago, USA 22-25 April 2013.

 

Application form available.

Around the Globe

APCRC - Q's directors and staff represent the Centre internationally.

Representing APCRC - Q’s research, Professor Colleen Nelson and others have been busy this year thus far, travelling the globe to network and attend conferences.

Professors Colleen Nelson, Judith Clements and Pamela Russell attended the American Association for Cancer  Research’s Advances in Prostate Cancer Research Conference in Orlando, Florida in early February.  Professor Russell presented a poster titled “Use of targeted magnetic nanoparticles for imaging in prostate cancer”.

Professor Judith Clements was an invited speaker at the Gordon Research Conference Plasimogen Activation & Extracellular Proteolysis Conference in Ventura, California in mid February, whilst Professor Nelson attended the Cambridge Healthtech Institute 2nd Annual Circulating Tumour Cell Conference in San Francisco.

Professor Nelson and Dr Morgan Pokorny attended the 27th Annual European Association of Urology Congress in Paris in late February, and Professor Clements attended the 29th Winter School on Proteinases and their Inhibitors in Munich during this time.

Professor Nelson also attended the Irish Association for Cancer Research’s Annual Meeting held in Belfast, early March as an invited speaker.

A very busy start to the year, ensuring that APCRC - Q is promoted internationally and that collaborations and  current research activities around the globe are brought back to the APCRC - Q.

ASMR Recognition for APCRC-Q Researchers

Three APCRC-Q researchers recently received recognition for their research endeavours from the Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR). Dr Jyotsna Batra and Ms Nathalie Bock were selected as finalists in the ASMR Queensland Awards, and Ms Phoebe Sarkar’s research was featured in the ASMR newsletter media release.

At the ASMR Queensland judging session, Ms Nathalie Bock presented her project entitled: “Growth-factor loaded electrosprayed microparticles for targeted bone tissue regeneration” in the Postgraduate Student Awards Category.

In her presentation, Nathalie explained how bone loss is currently treated clinically by growth factor (GF) therapies and how these treatments use high doses of GFs to stimulate bone regeneration, which may lead to adverse side effects for other surrounding tissues.

Her project describes a novel technique, electrospraying, capable of encapsulating bone-relevant GFs within biodegradable carriers, which simultaneously protects GFs from the environment and delivers lower doses, as the carriers degrade. This new system is gentle to the GFs, which remain active longer for more efficacious bone regeneration providing a safer and cheaper alternative for bone loss treatment.

In the Postdoctoral Researcher Award Category, Dr Jyotsna Batra delivered a presentation on her project: “Genome-wide association studies of miRSNPs identify novel prostate cancer risk loci” which examines miRNA - small non-coding RNA regulating gene expression by binding mostly to the ends of their target genes.

Dr Batra is a member of the PRACTICAL consortium international research team. She explained how genetic variation can affect the binding between miRNAs and mRNAs and described how this team undertook large comprehensive genetic association studies of such genetic variations with prostate cancer risk and identified 7 novel risk regions and successfully validated the functional role of two of the variations in the KLK3 and MDM4 genes. This approach has thus opened new avenues for future studies to explore these regions as potential targeted therapeutics and/or disease biomarkers for prostate cancer.

Ms Phoebe Sarkar’s research into the effects of diabetes drugs on prostate cancer featured in the ASMR Medical Research Week media release. There was particular interest in the findings that high insulin levels increase the migration and invasion of prostate tumours, and that these changes can be prevented using insulin inhibitors. Stating that the “results make a strong case for repositioning insulin-lowering diabetes drugs, such as metformin, for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer”.

“The ASMR is the foremost professional society representing Australian health and medical research. The Society has a long established role in public, political and scientific advocacy, and as such, we greatly value ASMR’s acknowledgement of our researchers’ contributions to the field of prostate cancer research,” said Prof Colleen Nelson, Executive Director of the APCRC-Q.

 

Aus-CanPCRA Symposium Success

Wrapping up the 2012 Australian-Canadian Prostate Cancer Research Alliance Symposium with presenters, feedback and collaborations. APCRC - Q is the Australian Hub of the Alliance.

 

Delegates pronounce Aus-CanPCRA Symposium 2012 a resounding success!

The 2012 Australian-Canadian Prostate Cancer Research Alliance Symposium was held on Daydream Island from 13 to 16 April.

With 13 informative presentation and discussion sessions over three days, as well as a poster exhibit and networking opportunities, the Symposium attracted 87 participants, including 21 Canadian attendees.

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A friendly, interactive atmosphere prevailed and all delegates agreed that the Symposium was a resounding success in terms of information sharing, discussion, and collaboration.

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Top prostate cancer researchers present their latest findings

In attendance were some of the most influential scientists in prostate cancer research from around the world, many of whom shared their current research through informative presentations and interesting poster sessions. Topics discussed included:

  • Androgen Targeting
  • Androgen Function
  • Bioinformatics
  • Imaging
  • Circulating Biomarkers
  • Stress/DNA repair and new targets
  • Molecular Pathology resources, markers and drug discovery
  • Metabolism and Growth factors
  • Tumour Models
  • Preclinical and new therapeutics and screening
  • Patterns of Practice and health economics

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Positive feedback from delegates

Feedback received from delegates both during and after the conference confirmed that much was learned, many valuable discussions took place, and significant plans were laid for prospective collaborations among both first time attendees and seasoned Alliance members.

The following are just a few of the many positive comments from delegates:

“This was my first time attending the Australian-Canadian Prostate Cancer Research Alliance Meeting. I enjoyed meeting other conference attendees – both from Australia and Canada, and various scientific discussions that occurred throughout the meeting period – both inside and outside the conference venue. These scientific discussions led to a few potential collaborations.” Prof Bharati Bapat (University of Toronto)

“I consider this Aus-CanPCRA Symposium to be an unequivocal success for me, and am very happy to have been a part of it!” Dr Paul Boutros (University of Toronto)

“I thoroughly enjoyed the Aus-CanPCRA Symposium and very much appreciated the opportunity to share my work with an international community. My talk: “Insulin, IGFII and ADT induced Metabolic Syndrome: Pathways to Prostate Cancer Progression,” gave rise to many interesting conversation and new research questions for myself and for other researchers in overlapping fields. During the conference, I had many opportunities to foster collaborations with other research centers.” Dr Amy Lubik (Vancouver Prostate Centre)

“I feel that once again the annual Australian-Canadian Prostate Cancer Research Alliance meeting was a resounding success in providing a somewhat unique venue for sharing progress in prostate cancer research as well as for building collaborative ventures.” Prof Paul Rennie (University of British Columbia)

“Thank you for organizing the 2012 Aus-Can Prostate Cancer Research Alliance Symposium.  The meeting was outstanding and the location was superb.  It was a pleasure to meet with some new prospective collaborators as well as strengthening existing collaborative relationships.” Dr Christopher Ong (Vancouver Prostate Centre, University of British Columbia)

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Collaborations celebrated and created

At the heart of the conference, and a theme throughout all the discussions and presentations was the value of collaboration opportunities offered to researchers from across the globe by the Alliance.

Existing collaborations which were celebrated included:

1. Prof Jeff Holst (Centenary Institute), Prof Colleen Nelson (APCRC-Q), Dr Melanie Lehman (Vancouver Prostate Centre/APCRC-Q), Dr Grant Buchanan (University of Adelaide), Dr Ladan Fazli (Vancouver Prostate Centre) and Prof Ron Quinn (Griffith University)

Through his collaboration with Prof Colleen Nelson, Dr Melanie Lehman, Dr Grant Buchanan, Dr Ladan Fazli, and Prof Ron Quinn (all of whom are Alliance members), Dr Holst’s research demonstrated that by inhibiting the L-type amino acid transporters, tumour cell growth can effectively be diminished. At the 2012 Aus-CanPCRA Symposium, Dr Holst expanded on his findings that prostate cancer cells coordinate the expression of amino acid transporters, which led to a successful publication in the prestigious Cancer Research Journal.  Read more ...

2. Dr  Ladan Fazli (Vancouver Prostate Centre) and Ms Parisa Hesami (APCRC-Q)

Dr Fazli met Ms Hesami at the 2010 Aus-CanPCRA Symposium held at the Gold Coast, Queensland. During a discussion over lunch, the two researchers discovered just how much they had in common and began a fruitful collaboration.  Read more ...

1. Prof Paul Rennie (Vancouver Prostate Centre) and Prof Ron Quinn (Griffith University)

Prof Rennie and Prof Quinn met two years ago at the 2010 Aus-CanPCRA Symposium at the Gold Coast, Queensland and began a successful collaboration, which involved the search for small molecule natural products that bind to the C-terminal region of the androgen receptor.  Read more ...

 

Some examples of prospective collaborations from the 2012 Aus-CanPCRA Symposium include:

 

1. Dr Lidija Jovanovic (APCRC-Q) and Ms Jenny Bazov (Vancouver Prostate Centre)

As a result of their discussions at the 2012 Symposium, Ms Bazov and Dr Lidija Jovanovic are working to set up a collaborative effort to develop, validate, and verify methodology and protocols used in both the Queensland and our Vancouver labs. Read more ...

2. A/Prof Chris Hovens (APCRC-Epworth) and Dr Paul C. Boutros (University of Toronto)

Dr Boutros had extensive discussions with Dr. Chris Hovens, the Scientific Director of the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre - Epworth, Victoria. Dr Hovens is sequencing several primary tumours with multiple metastases. They plan to compare the genomic aberrations identified in metastases in Dr. Hovens’ lab with those discovered in CPC-GENE. Read more ...

3. Prof Paul Rennie (Vancouver Prostate Centre) and Dr Karen Chambers (APCRC-Q)

Prof Rennie of the Vancouver Prostate Centre once again found the Aus-CanPCRA Symposium very helpful in terms of establishing meaningful collaborations with other researchers. He has plans for a prospective collaboration with Dr Karen Chambers. Read more ...

4. Dr Kieran Scott (University of New South Wales), Prof Pamela Russell (APCRC-Q), Prof Colleen Nelson (APCRC-Q), and Dr Lidija Jovanovic (APCRC-Q)

This collaboration will combine the considerable expertise established in the Nelson laboratory in tumour models and transcript expression analysis with the experience and knowledge of phospholipase A2 inhibitors and lipid metabolism of Dr Scott’s lab to discover how these inhibitors modify tumour transcription patterns. Read more ...

Please visit our Collaboration Page to read more interesting collaboration stories

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Posters showcase research findings and encourage discussion

Daily poster sessions allowed researchers from both countries to present their work visually and to answer questions and engage in discussions about their individual research projects.  The posters were also featured in the symposium abstract booklet provided to all delegates at the conference for easy reference and further information on the various areas of research.

Acknowledgements

Aus-CanPCRA sincerely thanks all symposium delegates, who represented a wide variety of world-class Research Institutes and Organisations, including:

  • Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Epworth
  • Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland
  • Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Epworth
  • Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland
  • Bond University’s Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine
  • Centenary Institute’s Origins Cancer Group
  • Griffith University’s Eskitis Institute for Cell and Molecular Therapies
  • Jewish General Hospital’s Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research
  • McGill University’s Department of Surgery; Division of Urology
  • Monash University’s Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology; Institute of Medical Research
  • Movember
  • Mt Sinai Hospital
  • Prince of Wales Hospital’s Department of Medical Oncology
  • Princess Alexandra Hospital’s Department of Urology and Transplant
  • Prostate Cancer Canada
  • Queensland University of Technology’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
  • Royal Melbourne Hospital’s, Department of Urology
  • Toronto Western Research Institute’s University Health Network
  • University of Adelaide’s Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Research
  • University of Adelaide’s Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories
  • University of British Columbia’s Department of Urologic Sciences
  • Vancouver Prostate Centre
  • University of Calgary’s Department of Oncology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • University of Melbourne’s Department of Surgery
  • University of New South Wales’ St George Hospital Clinical School
  • University of Queensland’s Diamantina Institute for Cancer Immunology and Metabolic Medicine; Cancer Genomics and Trascriptomics Group
  • University of Toronto’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology; Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • University of Toronto’s Department of Medical Biophysics
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For further information about future Aus-CanPCRA events and how to join the Alliance...

Please visit the Australian-Canadian Prostate Cancer Research Alliance website for more information on how to join the Alliance as well as updates on future events and research opportunities.

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Online photo gallery live now!

Australian Prostate Cancer Bio Resource (APCB) receives funding from “It’s A Bloke Thing” Foundation and Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia

The Australian Prostate Cancer Bio-Resource (APCB), led by APCRC-Q’s Scientific Director, Distinguished Professor Judith Clements, recently received a $200,000 contribution from the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) and the It's A Bloke Thing Foundation (IABTF).

The Australian Prostate Cancer Bio-Resource (APCB), led by APCRC-Q’s Scientific Director, Distinguished Professor Judith Clements, recently received a $200,000 contribution from the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) and the It's A Bloke Thing Foundation (IABTF).

These funds will assist the APCB as it underpins clinical trials and ongoing research nationally, and is involved in international consortia, such as the PRACTICAL prostate cancer genetic association study.

The biobank, which has four state nodes and is led from Queensland, has collected tissue samples from more than 5,500 men for the past 10 years and has 140,000 samples nationally and 40,000 in Queensland.

“It will be 10 years in October since we started collections and this is an extremely critical phase as we now need to gain more information on these men as to whether their disease has progressed or not. We are extremely grateful for the philanthropic support that comes to us through the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, who has generously supported us for the past five years,” said Professor Clements, who has been working in prostate cancer research for the past 20 years.

"This funding will assist us in getting the critical information required for an integral part of the overall research into prostate cancer," she added.

PCFA national chairman, Mr Jim Hughes AM, said community support was vital for ongoing prostate cancer research.

"We have some wonderful community-based initiatives that help, like the Toowoomba-based It's A Bloke Thing (IABT) Foundation, which is responsible for half of this $200,000 donation," said Mr Hughes.

Started four years ago by a group a friends, including businessmen John Wagner, Gary Gardner, Mark Crampton and this year's chairman, John Fitzgibbons, the IABT lunch is Australia's most successful daytime fundraising event.

"We are extremely pleased that our event will help beneficiaries like the Australian Prostate Cancer Bio-Resource to continue their research programs," said Mr Fitzgibbons.

"Prostate cancer accounts for 30% of all cancers diagnosed in Australian men every year, and it is the second most common cause of cancer-related death, after lung cancer.”

"It's also not “just an old man's disease” so we need to reach men, particularly at a grassroots level and in rural communities."

 

BBQ for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

APCRC-Q are hosting 2 barbecues at the PA Hospital in September to raise funds for Prostate Cancer Awareness month.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and APCRC-Q is gearing up to raise much needed funds for research.

This month we will be holding Barbecues at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Thursday 15th September and Thursday 22nd September from 12:30-1:30pm, in order to aid this important cause.

The Barbecues will be held outside the main entrance of the PA Hospital, in front of the Transit Lounge and near the Ambulance Bays.

QUT Gardens Point will once again turn the cube on top of Z Block blue for most of September.

All funds raised throughout the events will help the Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia (PCFA) to continue their vital research into the cause, treatment and prevention of prostate cancer.

BBQ Success

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness month and what better way to celebrate than to hold a “Great Aussie Barbie” for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia?

Recently, the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland (APCRC – Q), held a lunchtime barbecue at the Princess Alexandra to raise funds for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia’s September campaign.

Staff, patients and visitors attended the feast and helped to raise over $500 for prostate cancer research and awareness.

APCRC – Q will run another barbecue on Friday 21st September in the Garden Atrium in the Main Building of the PA Hospital from 11:30am – 2pm.

There will also be a barbecue at the Queensland University of Technology’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation on Friday 14th September 11:30am – 2pm, Corner Blamey Road and Musk Avenue.

Thank-you to all who attended and helped set up, clean up, serve, cook and spruik.

More information can be found at the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia’s website.

Breakthrough DNA research reveals genetic risks for prostate, breast and ovarian cancers

APCRC-Q researchers Prof Judith Clements, Dr Jyotsna Batra and PhD student Srilakshmi Srinivasan recently contributed to a genetic variation study that was published in Nature Genetics. The publication identified more than 80 genetic variations that can increase a person's risk of prostate, breast, and ovarian cancers.

APCRC-Q researchers Prof Judith Clements, Dr Jyotsna Batra and PhD student Srilakshmi Srinivasan recently contributed to a genetic variation study that was published in Nature Genetics.  The publication identified more than 80 genetic variations that can increase a person's risk of prostate, breast, and ovarian cancers.

The study results, released on Thursday 28 March 2013, explain how each genetic variation increased the risk of developing cancer by a small amount, and demonstrated how the cancer risk multiplied significantly with the number of variations within a person's DNA.

Largest and first genetic study of its type

This study was one of the largest-ever of its type and marked the first attempt to identify genetic variations associated with the risk of these cancers in a very large number of people. The international research team studied the DNA of 200,000 people to identify genetic variations, called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which are associated with the risk of developing prostate, breast, and ovarian cancer.

78 Genetic Variations Linked to Prostate Cancer Identified

Dr Batra, Prof Clements and Srilakshmi Srinivasan worked closely with fellow scientist from  the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, to help design the SNP chip that analysed the DNA for prostate cancer-released genetic variations. The new SNP research means scientists now know of 78 genetic variations linked to prostate cancer.

"We can now explain 35 per cent of the hereditary risk of prostate cancer by combining the effects of these 78 variations - but that means we still have 65 per cent to go," said Dr Batra.

The analysis compared the DNA of Queensland prostate cancer patients to that of healthy individuals.

For prostate cancer patients, Dr Batra said, "We found 23 additional genetic variations linked to prostate cancer and 16 of those relate to life-threatening forms of the disease."

According to Dr Batra, this means that: "If you're unlucky enough to be in the one per cent of people with lots of these prostate-cancer related variations in your DNA, your risk of developing this disease could rise by nearly 50 per cent compared to the population average."

The QUT scientists are currently designing a second chip to isolate the remaining variations.

Better-informed treatment choices for prostate cancer patients

The SNP research would be used to design genetic tests for prostate cancer, which would complement existing screening technologies.

"These genetic variations are inherited and don't change with age," Professor Clements said. "That means it's possible to test for the cancer risks well before they actually develop in a person.”

"About one in nine men will develop prostate cancer by 80 years of age, but not all prostate cancer is life threatening.”

"So knowing the genetic composition of a man's DNA becomes an important step in dealing with his disease.”

"Doctors would likely opt for regular screening and early surgical removal for patients likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer, but opt for watchful waiting in patients with variations linked to non-aggressive forms."

The genetic variation study was led by the UK's University of Cambridge and The Institute of Cancer Research.

Cancer Council Queensland Award Trifecta

Professor Colleen Nelson, Executive Director of APCRC-Q, was awarded a Cancer Council Queensland Research Project Grant for her project entitled: Development of YB-1 as a therapeutic target in advanced prostate cancer.

“I am very pleased with this outcome,” said Prof Nelson.YB-1 is a major driver of prostate cancer progression and mediates castrate- and chemo-resistance, and, as such, is a promising therapeutic target in advanced prostate cancer. This project will determine the molecular mechanisms by which YB-1 regulates androgen responsive genes, and study the biological processes that are co-regulated by YB-1 and androgens.

“Further investigation will be undertaken to determine how YB-1 contributes to the activation of castrate resistant tumour growth by affecting key players of proliferation and cell cycle control.

“We believe our findings will open new avenues for combinatorial therapy of androgen targeted or chemotherapeutic agents with development of an innovative YB-1 targeted therapy for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.”

Distinguished Professor Judith Clements and Dr Jyotsna Batra also received a Cancer Council Queensland Research Project Award for their project entitled: PSA Coding variants: Functional analysis, multiethnic association and risk models for prostate cancer.

“This is a great outcome,” said DProf Judith Clements, Scientific Director of APCRC-Q, “This study will critically evaluate two promising genetic biomarkers, with a view to improving the existing PSA test and providing risk models for prostate cancer in multiethnic populations.

The information we gain from this study may also help us to selectively identify and distinguish prostate cancers that are more aggressive and should be treated from those that grow slowly and would not surface or cause significant symptoms during the lifetime of the patient.  We would also explore how these genetic variants contribute to initiation and development of prostate cancer  

Professor Ken O’Byrne and Associate Professor Derek Richard’s project entitled: MyRIP and exosomes function to control genetic stability, also secured a Cancer Council Queensland Research Project Award.

“We are pleased to have received this award,” said Prof O’Byrne, “This project has far reaching implications for the development of effective therapies in the fight against cancer.”

APCRC-Q supports the PA Research Foundation's Duck Race

APCRC-Q's Executive Director, Professor Colleen Nelson featured in the Channel Ten TV news coverage to promote the PA Research Foundation's Duck Race

The PA Research Foundation's annual Duck Race, held on Sunday 20 October, was a great success with more than $63,000 raised to support cancer research at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.  As one of the beneficiaries of the event, APCRC-Q was pleased to be involved in promoting the race.  Channel 10 TV News reporter Tegan George visited APCRC-Q two weeks before the event.

Congratulations to the lucky duck winner - Annabelle from Cleveland!!

The Duck Race is still open for donations.

 

Co-Op Students Scholarship Success

APCRC - Q's Canadian Co-Op students receive Scholarships.
Co-Op Students Scholarship Success

Co-Op Students: Kayla McGowan and Phoebe Sarkar

Two of the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland’s (APCRC – Q) newest additions, Canadian Co-Operative Program students, have been successful in receiving Canadian Scholarships.

Kayla McGowan and Phoebe Sarkar are two of four Canadian students spending eight months in the APCRC – Q labs on work placement.

Ms McGowan is among 22 British Columbian students to win a 2012 Premier’s Scholarship of $10,000 for study abroad.

This scholarship will aid her during her time in Brisbane with the APCRC – Q, working on a project that seeks to explain why Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT), used to treat primary prostate cancer tumor cells, can have varying results.

The student is a Biomedical Physiology Major at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in British Columbia, in her 4th year of study and hopes to better understand the processes of ADT under different conditions and to explore other pathways or mechanisms to target the cells.

“It is my hope that my experience with the APCRC – Q will help to discover the field I enjoy most, as I prepare to pursue a combined MD/PhD,” Ms McGowan said.

Ms Sarkar was successful in receiving a $1,700 One World Scholarship for her work in the effects of insulin on prostate cancer cells.

Applicants for this award must demonstrate both academic merit as well as significant involvement in their community and school.

The student has recently completed an honours thesis in health sciences and is in her 5th year of a Health Sciences Degree at SFU.

“I have a deep love for molecular biology and my research project at the APCRC – Q will allow me opportunities to gain more knowledge and specialization,” she said.

Ms McGowan and Ms Sarkar work in a team led by Dr Brett Hollier, Senior Research Fellow at the APCRC – Q, whose work in developing new targeted therapeutics designed to stop certain cancers from progressing, has recently won him an Early Career Smart Futures Fellowship from the Queensland Government.

Collaboration results in ground-breaking discovery

A recent paper in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) revealed new therapeutic options for prostate cancer treatment.

APCRC-Q researchers Dr Melanie Lehman and Prof Colleen Nelson teamed up with researchers from Sydney, Vancouver, Adelaide, and Brisbane in a collaboration which began through the Prostate Cancer Collaborative Research Alliance and resulted in a ground-breaking discovery, which has brought scientists closer to a new treatment for prostate cancer that relies on starving tumours of essential nutrients they need to grow.

In a recently published article in JNCI, lead investigators Dr Qian Wang and Dr Jeff Holst, both of the Origins of Cancer Laboratory, Centenary Institute, Sydney and their collaborators demonstrate that they can slow the growth of the cancer by blocking the proteins which pump the amino acid leucine into tumour cells.

A JNCI editorial on the article by Dr Andrew Tee from Cardiff University describes this work as “a landmark article that uncovers the Achilles heel of prostate cancer,” and goes on to say that “Discovery of this leucine hunger in metastatic prostate cancer opens up a new therapeutic option to treat prostate cancer by inhibiting amino acid transporters.”

Leucine is not only used to construct proteins within cells, but it also stimulates cell division—and overactive cell division causes cancer. However, leucine cannot be produced within the body, making it an essential nutrient which must come from the diet and be transported into cells by specialised protein pumps. 

In 2011, the team demonstrated that prostate cancer cells have more pumps on their surface than ordinary cells, which allows the cancer cells to take in more leucine and outgrow normal cells.

In the new study, researchers blocked the leucine pumps with chemicals, which resulted in inhibition of the activity of more than 100 genes responsible for prostate cancer growth and spread.

“There are currently no drugs that target these nutrient pumps,” Dr Holst says, “but we are working on that. We are confident we will have new compounds available for testing in the clinic in the next few years.”

Prof Colleen Nelson said: “The work is particularly good news for men suffering from prostate cancers that have become resistant to standard treatments, such as Androgen deprivation therapy (lowering the levels of exposure to male sex hormones).”

The team’s work was supported by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, Movember, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Cancer Institute NSW, Ramaciotti Foundation, Rebecca L. Cooper Medical Research Foundation, Tour de Cure, Cancer Australia, Cure the Future, anonymous foundation, National Health & Medical Research Council; and the Prostate Cancer Collaborative Research Alliance.

For interviews contact: Jeff Holst +61 401 081 974 or +61 2 9565 6172

Background information

About Prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australian men and is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men (after lung cancer).  Generally at the early and potentially curable stage, prostate cancer does not have obvious symptoms. This makes it different from other benign prostate disorders, which may result in urinary symptoms. Men aged 50 and over should talk to their doctor about prostate cancer and if they decide to be tested, to do so annually. If there is a family history of prostate cancer; men should talk to their doctor from the age of 40.

Source: Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia

For more on prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment and support refer to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia

About the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre-Queensland
The Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre-Queensland (APCRC-Q) is one of two nationally-funded centres of excellence in prostate cancer research. Members of the APCRC-Q comprise a large, coordinated multidisciplinary research team who seamlessly span the discovery, therapeutic and diagnostic development spectrum of prostate cancer.

Researchers within the Centre have expertise in gene expression, regulation, animal models, imaging, steroid hormones, molecular endocrinology and targeted therapeutics.

With a strong focus on the development of new therapeutics and predictive biomarkers for prostate cancer, via a collaborative, trans-disciplinary and translational approach, the APCRC-Q objectives are to:

  • Develop, evaluate, and validate novel biomarkers for patient risk profile stratification.
  • Accelerate discovery and pre-clinical development of anti-cancer therapeutics.
  • Clinically evaluate novel therapeutics in Phase I, II and III trials within a multidisciplinary prostate uro-oncology clinical trials centre.
  • Improve management of prostate cancer patients in Australia through implementing the latest approved advances in prostate cancer treatments.

 

Citation

Targeting Amino Acid Transport in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer: Effects on Cell Cycle, Cell Growth, and Tumor Development

Qian Wang, Jessamy Tiffen, Charles G. Bailey, Melanie L. Lehman, William Ritchie, Ladan Fazli, Cynthia Metierre, Yue (Julie) Feng, Estelle Li, Martin Gleave, Grant Buchanan, Colleen C. Nelson, John E. J. Rasko and Jeff Holst

Affiliations of authors: Origins of Cancer Laboratory (QW, JT, JH) and Gene & Stem Cell Therapy Program (QW, JT, CGB, WR, CM, YF, JEJR, JH), Centenary Institute, Camperdown, Australia; Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (QW, JT, CGB, WR, CM, YF, JEJR, JH); Vancouver Prostate Centre, Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada (MLL, LF, EL, MG, CCN); Cancer Biology Group, Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia (GB); Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre-Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia (CCN, MLL); Cell and Molecular Therapies, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, Australia (JEJR).

Correspondence to: Jeff Holst or
Origins of Cancer Laboratory, Locked Bag 6, Newtown, NSW 2042 Australia.

Abstract and paper at
http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/09/18/jnci.djt241.full?keytype=ref&ijkey=FRXeWMiVvJUgh45

Editorial at
http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/09/18/jnci.djt252.full

Origins of Cancer Laboratory, Centenary Institute Media Release at
http://www.centenary.org.au/p/about/media/mediareleases/2013/09/Host_effect/

Cure Cancer Australia grant for A/Prof Jyotsna Batra

A/Prof Jyotsna Batra was awarded a two year grant to further her work discovering biomarkers for prostate cancer.

Jyotsna was awarded a a two-year grant of $200,000 for her project entitled: Functional and mechanistic characterisation of a novel LncRNA at chromosomal locus 5p15 in prostate cancer.

Through her previous Cure Cancer Australia grants in 2014 and 2015, Jyotsna has identified genetic variations - specifically in the regulation of proteins encoded in a person’s DNA - that predispose men to prostate cancer. These genetic variations are promising therapeutic targets for new treatments for the disease.

Jyotsna believes that changes in gene sequences, when used alongside the traditional Prostate-Specific Antigen blood test (which can be unreliable on its own), can serve as effective biomarkers to identify men predisposed to developing prostate cancer.

These biomarkers can also help distinguish the slowly progressive from the aggressive form of the disease.

“By analysing the DNA of around 50,000 individuals, half of which belongs to prostate cancer patients, we’ve identified 100 genetic variations associated with prostate cancer risk”, she says. “They can collectively explain about 30% of the inherited component of the disease”.

“The 2017 funding will allow me to take the lead from previous work and continue to progress to testing on patients,” she says. 

“It’s given me the freedom to carry out novel and advanced research, which wouldn’t have been otherwise possible".

December 2011 Newsletter

Welcome to the last newsletter for 2011! A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at APCRC-Q.

Message from APCRC-Q's Directors

The Centre welcomes our newest Postdoctoral Fellow, Shirly Sieh and Research Assistant Nataly Stylianou to the APCRC-Q team.

Next year promises to be another busy year, with many upcoming events, both for the centre and for us as Directors.

We look forward to finalising our annual Australian-Canadian Prostate Cancer Research Alliance (Aus-Can PCRA) Symposium and will endeavour to keep you posted.

The fortnightly Seminar Series, held at the Princess Alexandra Hospital will once again inform you of the latest research in the field of prostate cancer.

Professor Colleen Nelson and Professor Judith Clements


In the December 2011 Newsletter:

  • Scientific Promise Rewarded
  • Prestigious Award Received
  • PAH Research Foundation Cancer Seminar
  • New Technique Developments
  • United Research Discussion
  • GAP News
  • Rodeo Raises Funds
  • Publication Success
  • Seminar Series Wrap Up
  • Aus-Can Symposium
  • Market Day Raises Funds

 

Christmas Office Closure

The office at APCRC-Q will be closed from close of business Friday 23rd December and will reopen Tuesday 3rd January 2012.

Swan shows his support

Thursday 29 December 2011, the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland received a visit from Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Treasurer, the Hon. Wayne Swan MP. Mr Swan penned an Opinion piece on the subject of prostate cancer entitled, "Simple test to save a bloke's life".

Opinion Piece: Simple Test to Save a Bloke's Life - Courier Mail

Deputy PM Wayne Swan MP, visits the PA Hospital and APCRC - Q.

Nearly 23 years ago, my father Morrie Swan passed away from Prostate Cancer at the age of 67. It was a terribly sad time – especially because he suffered a lot of pain.

I was 35 when he passed away, and like most men around that age, I got on with things and concentrated a lot on my career and starting a family.

I didn't think much about my own vulnerabilities until some 12 years later, when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

I'm still alive today, and my children still have a dad, because I was diagnosed early by way of a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test.

Even though I'd watched my father die a really painful death from prostate cancer, I never thought I'd get the disease myself.

I had no idea that if a first-degree relative – your father or brother – experiences prostate cancer, your chances of getting the disease increase from one-in-ten to one-in-three.

And I didn't know what the symptoms were. I nearly paid the ultimate price for that ignorance – which is why it's vital we do everything we can to promote the importance of men getting tested for prostate cancer.

That's why I'll be heading along today to the Princess Alexandra Hospital to have a look at the great work that's being done there.

For many Aussie blokes, our aversion to doctors and looking after our health is often matched only by our love of footy and a few beers.

But it doesn't take much. The PSA test that I took allows men, particularly those with a family history of the cancer like myself, to get checked out and, importantly, find out early if they do have the cancer.

Sadly every year in Australia an average of over 3000 men lose their lives to Prostate Cancer, which works out to something like one death every 3 hours of every day.

Tragic figures which, less than a week after Christmas, should be pause for thought for any father reading this to contemplate.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia have done a great job over the years promoting the PSA test and getting more Australian men tested.

Since establishing itself as a lifesaving method of early prostate cancer diagnosis in the 1990s, the PSA test has had its critics, usually a noisy minority at best.

Tragically, the vital importance of PSA testing has been undermined recently due largely to a widely criticised report released overseas this year.

PSA testing saved my life. So I have no doubt that we can't let dads and granddads avoid a potentially life-saving PSA blood test because of this report.

When there is so much practical evidence of the lives saved by the PSA test in every community across Australia, it's really worrying that all the progress over the last decade in educating Aussie blokes about getting themselves checked out could be at risk.

The message is simple: if you have a family history of prostate cancer or are over 50 years of age, speak to you doctor about getting tested for prostate cancer.

Make it a priority in 2012 – it's a new year's resolution that could save your life.

Wayne Swan
Acting Prime Minister
29 December 2011

 

Click here to view online

Dietmar Hutmacher awarded the title of Distinguished Professor

Professor Dietmar Hutmacher was awarded the title of Distinguished Professor for his services to biomedical engineering.

Dietmar leads the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre in Additive Biomanufacturing, with the aim of custom-designing and manufacturing medical implants as well as scaffolds that encourage cell growth and tissue regeneration for use in the hospitals of the future.

Distinguished Professor Judith Clements awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia

APCRC-Q Scientific Director, Distinguished Professor Judith Clements, was awarded the nation's foremost honour, the Companion of the Order of Australia, as part of the Queen's Birthday celebrations in June 2015.

D/Prof Clements was honoured for her outstanding contribution to biomedical research, particularly prostate cancer research, and for her success in generating ongoing funding to support the establishment of critically-needed national medical research facilities.

From 1997-2014, D/Prof Clements led the Cancer Research Program in QUT's Faculties of Science and Technology, and Health, and at the university's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), where she continues to lead research programs which aim to more clearly understand the molecular and cellular basis for the development, progression, and spread of prostate and ovarian cancer.

The main focus of her research is the role of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-related enzymes and their utility as biomarkers or therapeutic targets for prostate and ovarian cancer. She has been internationally recognised for her pioneering research in this field – having been a recipient of the Silver (2000) and Gold (2007) medals from the German E. K. Frey - E. Werle Foundation.

In addition to her role as Scientific Director of the APCRC-Q, D/Prof Clements is the Chair of the Queensland Board of the Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia (PCFA) and in that capacity sits on its national board.

D/Prof Clements is a co-founder and current Chair of the Australian Prostate Cancer Bio-Resource (APCB), a national tissue bank, which collects, annotates, and makes available prostate cancer tissues and other clinical samples for research studies, both within Australia and overseas. She is also co-leader of the Queensland node of the international genetic consortium for prostate cancer, PRACTICAL, a key consortium that has discovered 100 new genetic regions that are associated with prostate cancer risk.

QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Coaldrake applauded D/Prof Clements as a “prostate cancer research leader and advocate on a state and national level”.

"A QUT researcher of long standing D/Prof Clements continues to achieve ground-breaking discoveries and it is this unwavering commitment to make advances in cancer research as well as her strong collaborative approach and mentoring capacity that are her hallmarks.”

Dr Ian Vela awarded the 2015 TOLMAR ANZUP Uro-Oncology Clinical Research Fellowship

APCRC-Q Urologic Oncologist and Senior Research Fellow Dr Ian Vela was awarded the prestigious TOLMAR ANZUP Uro-Oncology Clinical Research Fellowship (CRF) for his project which aims to implement ground breaking technology, which will allow in vitro growth of metastatic prostate cancer and circulating tumour cells.

“This project builds on world first technology developed in association with the Hubrecht Institute in the Netherlands during my Urologic Oncology Fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC),” explains Dr Vela.

“With the aid of this award, I intend to establish locally this novel technology, and integrate it into clinical trial workflow and as part of a potential precision medicine program.”

Presentation of the fellowship, which is valued at $60,000, was made at the Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate (ANZUP) Cancer Trials Group Annual Scientific Meeting in Sydney on 14 July 2015.

The CRF is offered annually to clinician scientists whose research aligns with ANZUP’s mission to conduct clinical trial research to improve treatment of bladder, kidney, testicular and prostate cancers. This year the focus was on prostate cancer research.

ANZUP Cancer Trials Group is an active and emerging cooperative trials group, established to bring together all the professional disciplines and groups involved in researching and treating urogenital cancers, and committed to supporting and encouraging members to actively participate in clinical trials research.

 TOLMAR Australia is a specialist uro-oncology company providing medicines and locally informed support to men with advanced prostate cancer, as well as healthcare professionals in Australia and New Zealand.

Dr Ian Vela receives a 2015 Movember Clinician Scientist Award

APCRC-Q Urologic Oncologist and Senior Research Fellow Dr Ian Vela is one of only two clinician scientists across the country to receive a 2015 Movember Clinician Scientist Award.

The Clinician Scientist Award, recently announced by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA),  aims to bridge the gap between clinical and laboratory work by assisting outstanding clinicians to work closely with laboratory scientists and further their careers in prostate cancer research.

This award will provide Dr Vela with $450,000 over the next three years to support his research into precision medicine in advanced and oligometastatic prostate cancer.

“This award will help us to establish a precision medicine program for men with advanced and metastatic prostate cancer,” Dr Vela explained.

“This will enable us to identify potential effective treatment strategies based on the genetic analyses of individual patient's cancers and the response of their cancer to various treatments in the laboratory.  Our aim is to improve patient outcomes by determining and using the right treatment, at the right time, in the right patient.“

This is the first time that PCFA and the Movember Foundation have accepted applications for the Clinician Scientist Award, with the Movember Foundation investing over $1 million for the new award category to support research into prostate cancer biology, treatment, diagnosis, survivorship and prevention.

“We congratulate Dr Vela on this excellent achievement, which offers an exceptional opportunity to advance his valuable research into prostate cancer," said Prof Colleen Nelson, Executive Director of the APCRC-Q.

Dr Jyotsna Batra receives prestigious 2014 Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Samman Award

APCRC-Q geneticist, Dr Jyostna Batra, recently won a prestigious Indian Award for her research on the genetic biomarkers of prostate cancer aimed at improving early diagnosis of the cancer to enable targeted treatment.

Dr Batra, who is based within the APCRC-Q at Brisbane's Translational Research Institute (TRI) at Princess Alexandra Hospital, is one of only 30 recipients of the 2014 Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Samman award, given to people of Indian origin living in other countries to help further their education or careers.

"My research is aimed at finding better biomarkers that will help us identify men who are predisposed to develop prostate cancer by determining the genetic factors responsible for causing the cancer," says Dr Batra, a leader in functional genomics research that focuses on cancer diagnosis and treatment.

"Developing a better understanding of the underlying genetics of cancer will give doctors the best chance of diagnosing cancer early and treating it when a patient's potential for survival is high.

"As cancer progresses toward a more advanced state, successful treatment becomes more challenging, and the process becomes more difficult for both doctors and also for patients. Late stage treatment also places a greater strain on the health service."

Dr Batra was first awarded an Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation Fellowship in 2008. This Fellowship enabled me to come to Australia and start my career seven years ago. I have adjusted well in the new research environment and now successfully lead my own research group," she said.

Subsequently, she has been awarded a National Health and Medical Research Council project grant,Peter Doherty Fellowship, and, recently, a Career Development Award (2015-2018), as well as Cancer Australia Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme funding for her valuable research.

"I am deeply grateful to Distinguished Professor Judith Clements, whose mentorship and support have been instrumental in assisting me with my research and in achieving this award.

Dr Batra received the award from Puducherry Governor Virendra Kataria, on behalf of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.

"I am delighted to have such recognition in India, my country of origin, for my contribution to science, and I feel privileged and honoured to be among 30 Indians who have been recognised," she said.

Dr Batra collaborates with Dr Sharmila Bapat at the National Centre for Cell Science in Pune, India with the aid of an Australia-India Strategic Research Fund grant, and with Dr Sunita Saxena at the National Institute of Pathology in Delhi.

“We are very proud and pleased to have one of our researchers honoured with such a prestigious award,” said Distinguished Professor Judith Clements, Scientific Director of the APCRC-Q.

“We are delighted to be able to attract and retain such high calibre international researchers as Dr Batra at the APCRC-Q.”

Dual successes for APCRC-Q PhD student, Claire Levrier

It has been an impressive month for APCRC-Q PhD student, Claire Levrier, who was recently awarded two exciting accolades.

She won first prize for her oral presentation at the Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) Postgraduate Student Conference held at Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) on 27 May 2015.

Claire's presentation was entitled:  "Mechanism of action studies in prostate cancer cells of a new compound isolated from an Australian endemic rainforest tree". The award included a cash prize of $300.

Claire was also awarded a CTx PhD top-up scholarship, worth $10,000 per annum for her research aimed at discovering new cytotoxic compounds from Australian endemic plants and their mechanisms of action in prostate cancer.

“These are very worthy achievements,” said APCRC-Q Executive Director and Claire’s co-supervisor, Prof Colleen Nelson. “Congratulations, Claire!”

40 QUT positions for tomorrow's research and academic leaders - Early Career Academic Recruitment and Development Program (ECARD) & QUT Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowship (VCRF)

QUT is a highly successful, energetic and innovative university that is backing its aspirations with a significant and continuing investment in people, state-of-the-art infrastructure and collaborative work environments.

ECARD

Join QUT's Early Career Academic Recruitment and Development Program (ECARD). 20 ongoing (tenure track) positions for tomorrow's research and academic leaders.

QUT defines an Early Career Academic as a person who is within their first three years in an academic role that includes teaching, research and service activities.

Positions include:

More information visit www.qut.edu.au/jobs or refer to the flyer.

Applications close 29 June 2015

VCRF

QUT is a highly successful, energetic and innovative university that is backing its aspirations with a significant and continuing investment in people, state-of-the-art infrastructure and collaborative work environments.

The Queensland University of Technology’s Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellowship (VCRF) scheme provides an excellent opportunity, particularly for computational biologists, to join the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland (APCRC-Q) research team.

QUT is offering up to 20 Fellowships for leading postdoctoral researchers on a three year fixed-term basis. These prestigious fellowships are available in the following target research areas:

  • Behavioural Neuroscience and Imaging
  • Infectious Disease
  • Injury Prevention, Management and Rehabilitation
  • Medical Robotics
  • Bioproducts
  • Digital Productivity
  • Data Science, Computational Modelling and Simulation Science
  • Integrated STEM Education for the Young
  • Design and Health
  • Technology, Strategy and Innovation
  • Intellectual Property
  • Sustainable Power Engineering

Applicants must be within 0 to 10 years since the award of the PhD. Further information about the Fellowship scheme is available in the attached guidelines and applications are due on Monday 29 June 2015.

If you are interested in applying for this Fellowship in connection with APCRC-Q, please register your interest via email to

More information visit www.qut.edu.au/jobs or refer to the guidelines.

When applying for this position you are required to:

  1. Upload your Curriculum Vitae (maximum 10 pages) and demonstrate as part of your CV your personal achievement in relation to the topics in selection criteria 1 in the guidelines.
  2. Provide a detailed research project proposal (maximum 8 pages) and indicate that prior contact and confirmation of the suitability of the proposed project has been discussed with the relevant Assistant Dean (Research) and/or Institute Director. The requirements of the research project proposal can be found in selection criteria 2 in the guidelines.
  3. For Research Fellows only (Level C) upload your statement of claims (maximum 2 pages) including examples outlining your suitability for the role referring to selection criteria 3 in the guidelines.

ENDO 2016 Presidential Poster Prize for Patrick Thomas

APCRC-Q PhD candidate, Patrick Thomas, was awarded the ENDO 2016 Presidential Poster Prize for the Category “Tumour Biology” at the Endocrine Society’s 98th Annual Meeting and Expo, held in April 2016, in Boston, USA.

The Presidential Poster Competition recognises high-scoring young researchers, who are presenting-authors of a poster presentation, for excellence in the field of endocrinology. Expert faculty members serve as Poster Judges to evaluate presenters on their poster quality, presentation skills, scientific rigor, and impact.

Patrick presented the poster entitled “Targeting the Long Non-Coding RNA, GHSROS, a Mediator of Prostate Cancer Tumour Growth, with Antisense Oligonucleotides”, which describes the team’s investigation into the role of a long non-coding RNA called GHSROS in prostate cancer growth.

“We were able to identify that GHSROS plays an important role in cell proliferation, migration, survival and growth of prostate cancer tumours, indicating that it would be a promising therapeutic target in certain types of prostate cancer,” said Patrick.

“Furthermore, we were able to design novel molecules, known as LNA antisense oligonucleotides, and use these to effectively block the action of GHSROS. These findings have important implications for the future design of therapeutics for patients with prostate cancer.”

“I would like to congratulate Patrick, on this achievement,” said Prof Colleen Nelson, Executive Director of the APCRC-Q, and co-author of the poster.

Prof Nelson also attended the ENDO2016 meeting, which celebrated the Endocrinology Society’s Centennial, along with Mr Thomas, and fellow poster co-authors, Prof Lisa Chopin and Dr Inge Seim.

Funding flows for Dr Brett Hollier and Dr Brian Tse

Two APCRC-Q researchers, Dr Brett Hollier and Dr Brian Tse, recently enjoyed funding success.

Dr Brett Hollier was awarded a project grant from Cancer Australia, as well as an Endeavour Research Fellowship.

Dr Hollier’s project, entitled: Targeting neuropilin-1 to inhibit prostate cancer metastasis and therapy resistance, was awarded $200,000 over two years from Cancer Australia and funding partners Cure Cancer Australia Foundation and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

“I am delighted to be a recipient of this award,” said Dr Hollier, “The project aims to deliver an alternative treatment modality that can be used alone or in combination with current standard of care treatments to improve outcomes for patients with advanced prostate cancer.”

This study will pave the way for larger scale preclinical and clinical trials in the prostate cancer setting, with the ultimate goal of accelerating the translation of therapeutics into the clinic for prostate cancer patients.

“I am also very pleased to receive an Endeavour Research Fellowship from the Australian Government,” added Dr Hollier. “It will allow me to undertake a four month exchange visit to the world-renowned Vancouver Prostate Centre under the supervision of Professor Ralph Buttyan.

“During this exchange I will conduct research to better understand key biological processes underpinning the transition of prostate cancer from a relatively indolent and curable state into one that is resistant to contemporary therapies and the major cause of mortality.

“This research brings together two innovative and unique models of epithelial plasticity developed by myself and Professor Buttyan to provide a first ever analysis of critical tumour cell adaptive responses to anti-cancer therapies. My exchange visit to Professor Buttyan’s laboratory will be critical for initiating this synergistic program of research.”

This exchange programme will continue APCRC-Q’s strong commitment to strengthening collaborative links with internationally recognised investigators to deliver significant high impact research outcomes.

US Department of Defense Postdoctoral Training Award for Dr Tse

Dr Brian Tse successfully secured a Postdoctoral Training Award from the United States Department of Defense for his project entitled: "Developing a Novel Therapeutic Strategy Targeting Kallikrein-4 to Inhibit Prostate Cancer Growth and Metastasis.”

“I am very pleased to receive this award,” said Dr Tse, “It will facilitate the achievement of my aim to improve the clinical management of prostate cancer by developing a highly unique and novel form of cancer therapy that will prevent prostate cancers from spreading, and stop them from becoming more aggressive.

“Under the guidance of my mentors, Professor Pamela Russell, and Distinguished Professor Judith Clements, I will be investigating new therapies involving functionally inhibiting the serine protease, KLK4, which has been found to play a role in prostate cancer “homing” to bone. By inhibiting the actions of KLK4, we aim to prevent the spread of prostate cancer to the bone and other anatomical sites.

“What’s more, our approach is designed to target prostate cancer cells only, thus lowering the risk of side effects that are common for conventional chemotherapies where all cells of the body are subjected to the drug,” he added.

Dr Tse is the second APCRC-Q postdoctoral fellow (after Dr Carolina Soekmadji) to receive one of these highly sought-after and competitive awards.

Funding Success for Drs Hollier, Vela and Srinivasan

Dr Brett Hollier and Dr Srilakshmi (Sri) Srinivasan, recently received funding from the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, and Dr Ian Vela successfully secured a Metro South Health Research Support Scheme Project Grant.

PCFA Awards for Dr Brett Hollier and Dr Sri Srinivasan

Two APCRC-Q researchers, Dr Brett Hollier and Dr Srilakshmi (Sri) Srinivasan, recently received funding from the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

Dr Hollier’s project, entitled: “Discovery of new therapeutic targets for aggressive prostate cancer”, was awarded a New Concept Grant valued at $100,000 for one year.

“I am delighted to be a recipient of this award,” said Dr Hollier, “The project aims to discover new therapeutic targets for a particularly aggressive and therapy resistant form of prostate cancer, known as Neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC).

“Current clinical therapies are not effective at inhibiting the growth and spread of NEPC and men diagnosed with NEPC have a very poor prognosis. It is hoped that findings from our study will reveal new therapeutic strategies to specifically kill this form of prostate cancer and improve outcomes for men with NEPC.”

Dr Srinivasan received a John Mills Young Investigator Award of $75,000 for one year, for her project entitled “Improving the effectiveness of the PSA test”.

“I am honoured to receive this Award,” said Dr Srinivasan. “The current PSA test needs to be more effective and reliable and a personalised approach to modify this test could improve its effectiveness.”

“This study will comprehensively analyse how an inherited factor affects PSA’s role in disease progression. The outcomes from this study may lead to a new type of PSA test that has the potential to save and improve the lives of men with prostate cancer.”

 Metro South Health Research Support Scheme Award for Dr Ian Vela

Dr Ian Vela successfully secured a Metro South Health Research Support Scheme Project Grant of $75,000 for one year, for his project entitled: "Investigation of the role of lymph node metastasis in initiation and progression of bone metastasis.”

“I am very pleased to receive this award,” said Dr Vela. “We don’t understand why some patients have only lymph node metastasis and some patients present with bone only or mixed metastasis. This study will help us to understand if there are specific interactions between prostate cancer cells and bone cells, which leads to bone metastasis and how spread to lymph nodes by the cancer may influence this interaction. This information is critical to find new targets to inhibit, prevent, or treat prostate cancer metastases.”

APCRC-Q & QUT supporting Blue September

APCRC-Q held 2 fundraising barbecues at the Princess Alexandra Hospital for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. QUT turned the cube on top of Z Block Gardens Point blue for most of September.
APCRC-Q & QUT supporting Blue September

APCRC-Q barbecue for Blue September

QUT turned the cube blue Z block Gardens Point

September was Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and APCRC-Q held 2 fundraising barbecues at the Princess Alexandra Hospital on Thursday 15th and 22nd September.

Over $500 was raised to help the Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia (PCFA) to continue their vital research into the cause, treatment and prevention of prostate cancer.

Thanks to all who assisted and supported us.

Grant Success

Dr Varinder Jeet's recent funding success.

Recently, Dr Varinder Jeet, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland (APCRC – Q) received an Early Career Researchers’ Grant from the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI).

Dr Jeet was awarded the grant as part of the Cells and Tissue Domain at the Queensland University of Technology.

IHBI funded six of the awards, with the Human Health and Wellbeing Domain and the Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation Domain funding the remainder.

This award will enable Dr Jeet to continue his important research in the area of prostate cancer.

Congratulations Dr Jeet!

Hollier's Grant Success

Early Career Smart Futures Fellowship awarded to Dr Brett Hollier of APCRC - Q.

Recently, Dr Brett Hollier, Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland, received $180,000 over 3 years in new funding from the Queensland Government’s Smart Futures Fund as part of the Early Career Smart Futures Fellowship.

Dr Hollier’s project is entitled “Smarter Targeted Cancer Therapies for a Healthier Queensland” and will build upon existing Queensland research by developing new targeted therapeutics designed to stop cancers such as breast, prostate cancer and melanoma from progressing.

This grant will enable the researcher to continue investigating strategies to inhibit proteins associated with the process of cancer cell migration by targeting multi-protein growth factor complexes.

“We’ll look at how the proteins affect genes inside cancer cells, how to block association of these proteins as well as developing an antibody to simultaneously block the receptors that the proteins activate on the surface of cancer cells,” Dr Hollier said.

After a 2 year postdoctoral position at the M.D Anderson Cancer Centre (MDACC) in Houston, Texas, investigating the role of EMT in cancer stem cells and breast cancer metastasis, Dr Hollier returned to Australia and joined the Tissue Repair and Regeneration (TRR) program within the Institute of Health and Biomedical (IHBI, QUT) and has recently become an active member of the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland as a Senior Research Fellow.

An early career researcher with an interest in understanding the mechanisms that mediate cancer metastasis, his research focuses on the Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF) family and the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program.

Dr Hollier said it was hoped that new therapeutics would eventually be able to stop the progression of a range of pre-existing cancers to improve patient outcomes.

Dr Hollier was one of only two QUT researchers to receive this grant which was officially announced at BIO 2012 held in Boston (USA) in June.

This research aims to improve the health outcomes of Queenslanders battling cancer and reduce the burden of cancer on the individual and society.

Host a Big Aussie Barbie this September

This year more than 20,000 Australian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 3,300 will die of the disease (PCFA). Help raise funds for prostate cancer by hosting a Big Aussie Barbie!

Register for 2012


The BARBIE is one of the great Aussie icons.

It celebrates all the good things about this country – the weather, the food and the people.

It seems only natural to us that it also celebrates the Aussie male and helps us raise money and awareness for prostate health.

 

Register your best ever BIG AUSSIE BARBIE today.

  • Host a footy BARBIE to celebrate your team
  • Host a spring BARBIE to celebrate the new season
  • Host a BARBIE with your friends to celebrate your mates
  • Host a BARBIE around Father’s Day to celebrate your dad, grandad and all the men you love in your life

 

Don’t worry if you can’t host a BIG AUSSIE BARBIE, you can still support the campaign and Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia by making a tax deductible donation.


Your donation will assist to help advance research, raise awareness and provide essential peer support to men living with prostate cancer and their families.

Visit the Big Aussie Barbie website for more information.

IHBI Gala Success

A highly successful Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) Gala reception was held in December to showcase the Institute’s research achievements on its’ 5th Anniversary.

Professor Colleen Nelson spoke on her passionate thoughts on translational research and on the Centres’ model objectives and aims of APCRC – Q as well as current research projects.

Ross Young is the Executive Director of IHBI.

“This was an opportunity to showcase our work to members of the commercial and health communities and was well attended,” he said.

“Nick Graves and Colleen Nelson both spoke very well and the night was extremely well organised by IHBI Directorate staff.

IHBI Gala 2011 - Ross Young, Colleen Nelson, Nick Graves

International Poster Prizes for APCRC-Q Researchers

APCRCQ Researchers, Dr Jyotsna Batra, Dr Carolina Soekmadji and Ms Nataly Stylianou were recipients of International Prizes for posters outlining their research in 2014.

Dr Jyostna Batra was awarded the Best Poster Prize at the 10th Indo-Australian Conference on Biotechnology, Manipal, India, in April 2014 for her poster entitled: “Exploring the role of miRSNPs in diagnosis and prognosis of prostate cancer”.

“I am very pleased to have won this award, said Dr Batra. “These results will provide an impetus for future diagnostic genetic tests for cancer risk assessment and prevention management and would be the first step towards miRNA-based pharmacogenomics. The findings will also be applicable to other hormone-related cancers including ovarian, breast and colon cancers, through our collaborative research.”

Dr Carolina Soekmadji also received a Best Poster Prize for her poster entitled: “Exosomes influence proliferation of androgen sensitive prostate cancer cells” at the 3rd International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) meeting.

This major international meeting held in Rotterdam in May 2014 attracted nearly 700 delegates. “It was an honour to win this award,” said Dr Soekmadji. “My poster presentation described our research into the effects of androgen deprivation, dihydrotestosterone, and an androgen antagonist, MDV3100, on secretion of exosomes from prostate cancer cells.

“Exosomes are vesicles secreted by cells,” Dr Soekmadji explains. “They mediate cell-to-cell communication.  This field is fairly new in prostate cancer, and we are investigating the role of exosomes via high throughput analysis.

“Understanding the role of exosomes in prostate cancer will allow us to develop exosome-targeted treatment in the future. We also collaborate with other groups around the world, supported by Movember’s  Global Action Plan, to help make this vision a reality,” she adds.

Congratulations to the winners & finalists of the 2014 TRI Poster Symposium

The 2nd Annual Translational Research Institute (TRI) Poster Symposium for Early and Mid-career researchers was held on the 16 October 2014 at the TRI on the Princess Alexandra Hospital Campus, Brisbane.

APCRC-Q researcher, Dr Jyotsna Batra was awarded second place in the Oral Presentation category for her presentation on the role of miRSNPs in diagnosis and prognosis of prostate cancer. This work combines the well-established mechanism of miRNA regulation in the prostate cancer aetiology with the unexplored area of regulatory genetic variants in untranslated gene regions to yield clinically-relevant information. Dr Batra presented some findings from her research, which innovatively combines expertise in genetic, molecular, and computational biology to increase our understanding of cancer biology.

Ms Nataly Stylianou came second in the Poster Presentation category with her poster entitled: “Investigating the Role of Epithelial to Mesenchymal Plasticity in Prostate Cancer.”  Nataly’s research involves understanding the process by which cancer cells acquire the ability to spread in the body and form secondary tumours.  With this knowledge, Nataly aims to identify therapeutic targets that could inhibit cancer cells from spreading.

January 2012 Newsletter

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2012! January and the holidays have been a busy and exciting time for APCRC—Q.

Message from APCRC-Q’s Directors

The Centre welcomes our newest Research Fellow Bioinformaticians, Dr Melanie Lehman and Dr Chenwei Wang to the Prostate Centre. Both women are accomplished, with strong track records in genomics-oriented computational analysis and will be invaluable to our research activities.

This year promises to be another busy one, with many upcoming events.
In late December, the Centre was pleased to host the Acting Prime Minister, the Hon. Wayne Swan MP, whom participated in a media interview on prostate cancer testing and we were able to show-case the clinical and translational activities of the APCRC - Q.

Recently, Colleen attended a Women in Leadership dinner, hosted by the Canadian Consul-General in Sydney, to promote women’s roles in science, international networking and leadership positions.

We are pleased to announce that our 3rd international Prostate Cancer Research Alliance (Aus-Can PCRA) Symposium will be held in April 2012 on Daydream Island. See page 2 for more details.

The fortnightly APCRC—Q Seminar Series, held at the Princess Alexandra Hospital will once again inform you of the latest research in the field of prostate cancer, the first one being held on February 2nd.

Best wishes for the New Year!

Professor Colleen Nelson and Professor Judith Clements

Issue highlights:

In the January 2012 Newsletter:

  • Deputy PM appeals to public
  • Aus-Can Symposium announced
  • Seminar Series kicks off
  • Wayne Swan MP opinion piece

Jennifer Gunter and Michael Doran awarded PCFA research grants

Not one, but two researchers from the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre - Queensland (APCRC-Q) received Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) research grants in the 2012 funding round announced on Friday 26 October.

Dr Jennifer Gunter was one of only four researchers in Australia to be awarded the sought-after Young Investigator Grant for her project entitled: How does the metabolic syndrome contribute to prostate cancer progression and treatment resistance? Targeting hyperinsulinaemia in castrate resistant prostate cancer.

 “I'm very pleased and proud to receive this grant,” said Dr Gunter. “Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian males, and, unfortunately, about 25% of those diagnosed fail primary therapy and commence androgen deprivation therapy. Although effective in treating the tumour, this therapy induces the ‘metabolic syndrome’ with symptoms similar to those seen in obesity and diabetes. For some patients this can increase their risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes). In addition, the resulting elevated insulin level in blood is associated with accelerated progression of their prostate cancer towards an incurable stage of the disease resulting in a poor prognosis.”

 “In this project, I will continue to investigate the actions of insulin and anti-diabetic medications on processes that support treatment resistance and cause the cancer to spread to other parts of the body. These findings will help us find out more about how prostate cancer progresses and may open up existing diabetes treatments as potential therapies for prostate cancer.”

 Dr Michael Doran’s project entitled: Engineering a High-Throughput Prostate Cancer Stem Cell Niche Mimic earned one of the eight New Concept Grants awarded in this round.

 “This grant means a great deal to us,” said Dr Doran. “Our project aims to develop a platform of prostate cancer stem cells that will mimic more accurately than existing platforms, the unique micro-environmental conditions within the body that appear to enable prostate cancer-initiating cells to hide from the immune system and evade chemotherapy. This system will function as a powerful tool in the discovery of genetic and cellular factors that perpetuate prostate cancer metastasis to bone and evasion of chemotherapy, leading to the identification and testing of new drugs.”

 “We believe this platform has the potential to supersede existing culture strategies as the ‘gold standard’ for in vitro prostate cancer drug screening.”    

 2012 marked the fifth anniversary of PCFA’s Research Program, which, with the assistance of Movember, has, since its inception in 2007, supported world-class prostate cancer research projects in Australia.  The last five years has seen the program award more than $30M to 136 projects nationwide.

“We are very glad that our Centre has received two grants from the PCFA,” said APCRC-Q Executive Director, Prof Colleen Nelson. “Our congratulations go to the recipients. Their projects have great significance in realising our Centre’s research aims to identify new methods and tools with which to predict, diagnose, and treat prostate cancer.”

Jessica's Poster Success

PhD student, Jessica Lisle wins "Best Poster" at the 13th Australian Prostate Cancer Conference.

PhD student, Jessica Lisle wins "Best Poster" at the 13th Australasian Prostate Cancer Conference.

Recently, prostate cancer focussed PhD student Jessica Lisle was the recipient of the “Best Poster” award in the Translational Science Category at the 13th Australasian Prostate Cancer Conference held in Melbourne, Australia.  This is the second consecutive year that an APCRC-Q researcher has won this poster prize.

Ms Lisle’s poster was entitled “KLK4-initiated protease cleavage of the receptor tyrosine kinase EphB4 at the Surface of Prostate Cancer Cells – A Possible Mechanism for Regulation of EphB4 Signaling” and showed the results of her current research which has revealed the receptor tyrosine kinase protein EphB4 as a new substrate for KLK4 protease.  She has also identified a possible mechanism for the regulation of EphB4 signaling in prostate cancer and in particular the regulation of the ligand-independent tumour progressive actions of EphB4.

Jess is working towards a PhD under the supervision of Queensland University of Technology Lecturer and Group Leader of the Eph Receptor Biology Group, Cancer Research Program, Dr Sally-Anne Stephenson.  She is co-supervised by Professor Adrian Herington and Dr Inga Mertens-Walker.

Ms Lisle’s current research project is to continue to explore protease cleavage of EphB4, determine whether this is important in prostate cancer and whether this mechanism can be targeted to develop new anti-prostate cancer therapies.

Congratulations Jessica!

MicroRNA Profiling Reveals Prostate Cancer Diagnostic Biomarker Panel

APCRC-Q PhD candidate, Farhana Martin, and A/Prof Jyotsna Batra have identified a four microRNA signature with the potential to improve early prostate cancer diagnosis.

The research article detailing this work, entitled “A Plasma Biomarker Panel of Four MicroRNAs for the Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer” by Matin F, Jeet V, Moya L, Selth LA, Chambers S, Australian Prostate Cancer BioResource, Clements JA, Batra J. has been accepted for publication in the Q1 ranked journal, Scientific Reports, published by
Nature Publishing Group.

You can view the full publication here.

Mourning the Mo's

The wrap-up of Movember 2011 saw members of the APCRC-Q and the University of Queensland (UQ), come together to raise funds with a "Mourning the Mo's" morning tea.
Mourning the Mo's

Dr Raj Vasireddy, Mo-King Dr Stephen McPherson, and Dr Varinder Jeet

Co-ordinated by APCRC-Q, researchers and professional staff baked various goods to share with the attendees, whom paid a $2 entry fee to attend.

The 2011 Mo-King was crowned, with Postdoctoral Fellow Stephen McPherson taking out the title with his well-groomed handlebar moustache.

The event was a success and enjoyed by all.

These final funds added to the overall amount raised by the APCRC-Q Movember team.

A big thank-you to all who attended and donated funds to the cause.

Movember - Amanda & Mel Movember - Mourning the Mo's

Let's Talk Movember

Movember started with a conversation between mates and so there’s a nice synergy to the fact that, today, it’s conversation that is central to everything we do; it’s just a bigger conversation.

That one conversation back in 2003 has grown into millions taking place each Movember and it’s the impact of all this talk that we want to tell you about. All too often it’s only the funds raised by a charity that are remembered but equally important, especially at Movember, is the awareness raised. It’s awareness that educates and prompts people to change behaviour and take action, it’s awareness which in our case can ultimately save lives.

As you know, we raise awareness for men’s health by using the growth of a moustache to prompt conversation. But does this actually work? Is all the talk actually making a difference? These are questions we constantly ask ourselves and I’m sure you might have stopped to think about it, too. The answer is without doubt, yes. And we want to take this opportunity to show you how each member of the Movember community is making a difference through the awareness they spread during their individual Movember journey. The facts and stats featured in this short video-clip come from a recent piece of research we did, something that we do each year to ensure that our Awareness & Education program is delivering in line with our objectives. Check out how you’re helping to change the face of men’s health around the world.

*Source:  Movember Australia 2012, http://au.movember.com

APCRC-Q Movember Team 2011

Join our Movember team and invite your family and friends!

You don’t need to grow a mo to join the APCRC-Q Movember Team!

During November each year, men throughout Australia and the world grow moustaches to raise funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer, and depression in men.

The funds raised are intended for programs run directly by Movember and their men’s health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and beyondblue: the national depression initiative.

Movember 2011 - current global tally $107 million

During November each year, men throughout Australia and the world grow moustaches to raise funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer, and depression in men.

2011 saw nearly 900,000 fundraisers register for the event from countries such as Australia, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, South Africa and many others.

The funds raised are intended for programs run directly by Movember and their men’s health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and beyondblue: the national depression initiative.

APCRC-Q once again took part in Movember with an online team, morning tea and multiple donations, raising over $2,000 for Movember in total.

Although Movember will not tally the final raised amounts until January, currently Australia is sitting on over $24 million in third place under Canada and the United Kingdom.

The total raised globally, currently has reached an inspiring $107 million and continues to rise.

Figures are updated each hour on the hour at Mo Money.

Congratulations to all who participated in Movember 2011!

Movember in partnership with beyondblue seeks Expressions of Interest for the ASAP Initiative

$6.25 million collaborative network to improve the lives of men living with prostate cancer.

The Movember Foundation, in partnership with beyondblue; the national depression and anxiety initiative, seeks Expressions of Interest from organisations that wish to collaboratively develop new solutions that improve the lives of Australian men living with prostate cancer.

Organisations and or individuals eligible to express interest in
participating in this network include:

  • Public or private prostate cancer secondary care clinicians
  • Primary care practitioners with a focus on prostate cancer
  • Prostate cancer nurse specialists
  • Palliative care providers
  • Sexual health/rehabilitation practitioners
  • Health economists
  • Academics specialising in prostate cancer research and survivorship
  • Academics specialising in evidence based program evaluation
  • Health literacy experts
  • Mental health practitioners
  • Not for profit organisations providing prostate cancer navigation or supportive care services
  • Allied health services and community health services focussed on prostate cancer
  • Technology solutions providers (online/mobile/tele health) in healthcare


Network participants will develop evidence based practical
solutions that can be applied from a local to a national level.

To obtain a copy of the Expression of Interest, please contact
Shannyn Merlo at Shannyn@movember.com

Applications close: 2pm, 4 May 2012 EST

Movember Fundraising Success

Congratulations to the APCRC-Q team who raised a total of $3497 dollars during Movem­ber this year.

Congratulations to the APCRC-Q team who raised a total of $3497 dollars during Movem­ber this year. Their innovative and successful fundraising events inclouded two pop-up nail bars at TRI where talented nail artists painted and decorated nails in a bid to raise money for prostate cancer research.

“We had lots of fun and raised a combined total of 300AUD!” said Nataly Stylianou.

The Movember Foundation is the only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale, year round and a major source of funding for QUT’s dedicated prostate cancer research centre (APCRC-Q). If you would like to make a contribution to stop men dying too young, please visit https://au.movember.com/donate/details?teamId=2250837

Movember Funds Explained

Movember have created a short clip highlighting how Movember funds are being used on a global scale.

Movember runs official campaigns in 21 countries, helping them to bring their men's health partners from around the world together to collaborate, listen, learn from each other and ultimately, make a tangible difference. 

When it comes to raising funds for prostate cancer; most people think of it going towards research. What isn’t understood, is that, equally important are Survivorship programs. These programs can have a dramatic impact on the quality of life of men and their families and carers; they can mean the difference between men living a meaningful, quality life and just living.   

Diagnosis is just the first step in a man's prostate cancer journey, survivorship is the next.

Movember is working hard to have a real impact in the area of Survivorship and they would like to share what they're achieving. They are taking a global approach, as this is a global issue. Please check out how Movember are making a difference.

Read more

Movember Global Action Plan (GAP) Announced

Working alongside a team of world class prostate cancer experts, the GAP aspires to accelerate key outcomes in prostate cancer research, by facilitating global research collaboration projects.

An initiative of the Movember Foundation, the GAP will sit alongside and complement existing programs run by our beneficiary partners around the world.

The Movember GAP will provide support for a limited number of global collaborative initiatives that attract the best prostate cancer researchers in the world from both Movember and non Movember countries.

The key to this initiative is an agreement as ambitious as its goal: not just to fund collaborative global research, but also to share all data freely with the entire prostate cancer community and beyond, via the Movember website.

The Movember Foundation Board has established an independent Global Scientific Committee (GSC), comprising of the very best prostate cancer experts from around the world. The GSC will advise the Board on what research programs should be funded, and how they should be implemented.

APCRC - Q's Professor Colleen Nelson is the GSC Independent Chair, and is in no doubt of the importance of Movember’s GAP:

“Prostate cancer research is often most effective when multi-disciplinary teams across different research institutions work together to address key scientific challenges. This is usually done within a given centre, occasionally across one country. Rarely is there an opportunity to do this on a global scale. Movember GAP provides an unprecedented challenge and opportunity to unite prostate cancer researchers across the globe to achieve key breakthroughs faster.”

Movember Open for Business

Join our Movember team!

Movember 2012

 

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

 

Movember 2012 focuses on what it means to be a better man – the year of Movember & Sons.

 

“The collective knowledge of generations gives us great power to avoid mistakes of the past, plan thoughtfully for the future and to become the best version of one’s self.”

 

The Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland would like to invite you to join our Movember team to raise awareness and funds for Prostate Cancer Awareness.

 

You can visit our website for the latest news and events to be held in support of Movember at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

 

Those wanting to grow a Mo for Movember, please let me know so we can promote our Mo-Growers and follow their progress.

GAP1 Xenograft Project and the GAP1 Unique TMAs Project

Movember's Global Action Plan (GAP) prostate cancer biomarker initiative

Movember has released a global “Expression of Interest” to identify and engage interested researchers with relevant expertise in these two research areas:


The information received during the EOI process will be used to create trans-national multi-disciplinary teams who will collaborate to answer key clinical questions.

Movember's Second GAP Project Launched

Friday 14th September, Movember announced the second project funded under its Global Action Plan (GAP) program.

This two year global project will involve researchers from around the world collaborating to investigate cutting-edge imaging in metastatic prostate cancer. The specific aims of the project are to improve the detection and understanding of the metastatic process, enhance the ability to track the progress of therapies and better understand the pathophysiology of bone pain in advanced prostate cancer. Movember will invest AUD $5 million into promising collaborative imaging research projects.

EOI Information and key dates

Through an expression of interest (EOI) process, Movember seeks to identify interested researchers and their prostate cancer imaging capabilities and expertise. At the conclusion of the EOI period, researchers with relevant capabilities and expertise will be invited, through a consensus-based model, to develop integrated collaborative global research projects.

To participate in the project, interested parties are requested to contact the Project Manager for GAP2, Sam Gledhill by email at sam@movember.com to arrange for online registration.
Expressions of interest close at 5pm 2nd November 2012 AEST.

 

Read the full press release here.

Nathalie Bock selected to meet Nobel Laureates in Tokyo

Dr Nathalie Bock has been invited to attend the 9th Japan Society for the Promotion of Science HOPE meeting in Tokyo in February 2017. She is one of six Australian graduate students given the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary discussions with Nobel Laureates and other distinguished scientists.

HOPE Meetings provide opportunities to excellent graduate students selected from countries and areas in the Asia-Pacific and Africa region to engage in interdisciplinary discussions with Nobel Laureates and other distinguished scientists pioneering the frontiers to knowledge.

Nathalie hopes the meeting will provide inspiration, perspective and international networks to progress her research into bioengineered prostate cancer tumour models used to investigate responses to therapies. 

At the HOPE Meeting, Nathalie will attend the Nobel Prize Dialogue Tokyo 2017 on the first day of the program. She will actively join the event by asking questions at the Q&A sessions after the lectures and a panel discussion on “The Future of Intelligence ”, and thus contributed to the symposium.

The formal reception of Nobel Prize Dialogue Tokyo 2017 and the 9th HOPE Meeting will be jointly held in the presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress in the evening.

NHMRC Fellowships for Two APCRC-Q Researchers

Two APCRC-Q researchers were awarded sought-after Fellowships in the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grant round for funding starting in 2015.

APCRC-Q researchers were awarded over $1 million in National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants announced in October 2014.

Dr Jyotsna Batra was awarded an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship for her project entitled: “Exploring the role of miRSNPs in diagnosis and prognosis of prostate cancer”. This study will conjoin the well-established mechanism of miRNA regulation in the prostate cancer aetiology with the unexplored area of regulatory genetic variants in untranslated gene regions to yield clinically-relevant information. Dr Batra proposes to undertake an innovative approach by combining expertise in genetic, molecular and computational biology.

“Alongside increasing our understanding of cancer biology, these results will provide an impetus for future diagnostic genetic tests for cancer risk assessment and prevention management and would be first step towards miRNA-based pharmacogenomics,” Dr Batra explains. “These results will have applicability to other hormone-related cancers including ovarian, breast and colon cancers, through our collaborative research.”

Dr Nathalie Bock was awarded a Peter Doherty Australian Biomedical NHMRC Early Career Fellowship. Dr Bock’s project, “Using Bioengineered 3D Models to Replicate the Tumour Microenvironment in Prostate Cancer” will investigate the use of bioengineered 3D models to replicate the tumour microenvironment in prostate cancer and identify factors contributing to the establishment of secondary lesions (metastases).

“The bone microenvironment is a preferential site for metastases,” Dr Bock explains, “while bone cells themselves were often considered the key players, compelling new findings that link fat cells present in the bone marrow with disease progression gave rise to our hypothesis - that fat cells are a key contributor and therapeutic target in prostate cancer bone metastasis.

“I will use bioengineered scaffolds, made of synthetic biomaterials, and combine human bone cells with fat cells, to replicate the tumour microenvironment within the bone.”

With this approach, Dr Bock hopes to provide a ‘real life’ humanised model of tumour cells relocating to bone, which will help identifying the interactions between both cell types and the impact of fat cells on cancer cell function and bone metastasis.

October 2011 Newsletter

Welcome to the October newsletter for 2011. It’s packed with news and events to keep you up to date on all that’s happening at our busy centre.

Official TRI Launch

Construction of Translational Research Institute officially began yesterday at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.
Official TRI Launch

The TRI building site

The world-class facility brings together some of Queensland's best medical researchers from Queensland University of Technology, University of Queensland, Mater Medical Research Institute, and the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announced the official start of the project, and spoke of the significance of having research, testing, drug development, and drug production all under the one roof.

The TRI is set to open in 2012, and has received funding from the Australian Government, Queensland Government, The Atlantic Philanthropies, QUT and UQ.

APCRC-Q Open Day - Monday 30th January

To celebrate the Centre’s 3rd anniversary, Professor Colleen Nelson, Executive Director, APCRC-Q invites you to attend a welcome day to showcase the Centre’s clinical and translational activities.

The Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre–Queensland (APCRC-Q) is a disease-specific, consolidated  translational national prostate cancer research centre.

The APCRC-Q was established in January 2009 and is hosted by the Queensland University of Technology in partnership with the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

This is a great opportunity to learn about the Centre and meet our clinicians and scientists.

When: 10am – 3pm, Monday 30th January 2012

Where: Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre - Queensland

Level 1, Building 1, Princess Alexandra Hospital

199 Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba

To find us take the blue lifts to level 1 and the office is located across from the 1A Eye Clinic and next to Pathology

For more information please contact Melissa Raassina on 07 3176 1894

Light refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

Open Day Success

APCRC - Q celebrates 3 years!

On Monday 30 January, the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre - Queensland held an Open Day to celebrate it’s 3rd Birthday.

The centre was visited throughout the day by medical industry representatives, clinicians, research partners, Government officials, prostate cancer support group members and many more guests.

APCRC - Q’s dedicated researchers were on hand to discuss current research projects with guests.

The Open Day proved a great success, and was a wonderful way to celebrate our third anniversary.

As a joint initiative between Queensland University of Technology and the Princess Alexandra Hospital,    APCRC -  Q was officially opened by the Hon. Wayne Swan MP in early 2009.  Since then, the Centre has established  collaborative relationships with a wide range of partners, both nationally and internationally.

The Centre is currently assembled into a multidisciplinary framework that integrates research activities from discovery through to clinical trials.

Thank-you to everyone that attended our Open Day.

APCRC-Q joins TRI's Official Opening celebrations

The Governor-General, Her Excellency the Honourable Quentin Bryce AC CVO, officially opened Brisbane’s new biomedical research institute, Translational Research Institute (TRI), on Thursday 10 October 2013.

TRI is one of only a few facilities in the world to research, trial and manufacture breakthrough treatments all within the one location.  APCRC-Q researchers were among the first to move into the new facility in December last year.

The Institute is a joint venture between four leading research institutes -  the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, the Queensland University of Technology's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Mater Research and the Princess Alexandra Hospital’s Centres for Health Research. A biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility has been co-located at TRI to enable the discovery, manufacture and testing of therapies and vaccines to improve and benefit the health of people world-wide.

Multi-disciplinary teams of doctors and researchers will work together at TRI to develop and test potential new treatments.

The opening of TRI marks a significant milestone in the history of medical research in Australia.

Watch APCRC-Q researchers talking about their experiences in the TRI Opening Video.

TRI building

PARSS and PCFA Funding Awarded to APCRC-Q Investigators

Four APCRC-Q researchers were recently awarded funding for their research in 2016

APCRC-Q Executive Director Professor Colleen Nelson received two awards from the Princess Alexandra Hospital Research Support Scheme (PARSS). A Men’s Health Spirit Group Grant of $50,000 for one year was awarded to fund a project entitled: “Investigating the biological response to stereotactic radiation in oligo metastatic prostate cancer in mouse intra-tibial human prostate cancer models”.

“In this project we will investigate how best to use targeted radiation therapy for metastatic prostate cancer,” explains Prof Nelson. “Through detailed analysis of a mouse bone metastasis model, we  hope to optimise conditions for the delivery of targeted radiation therapy to bone metastases. This will help to determine  factors that  affect  bone  remodelling  and  tumour  control  following  radiation therapy. Our results will be used to inform future clinical trial design which, in turn, could lead to improved long term cancer control for metastatic prostate cancer patients.”

Prof Nelson also received a PARSS NHMRC Near Miss Grant of $75,000 over one year for a project entitled: “Analysis of treatment response in metastatic prostate cancer using circulating tumour cells from longitudinal clinical trials and novel patent-derived organoids in culture”.

Prof Nelson said that new insights into prostate cancer progression and treatment response/resistance are needed to improve the management of advanced disease and cancer specific survival.

“In this project we will use circulating tumour cell analysis to potentially assess patient’s response/resistance to treaments over time.  This provides us with a minimally invasive “liquid biopsy” to analyse treatment responses, make better treatment choices and improving outcomes for patients with advanced prostate cancer,” said Prof Nelson.

DProf Judith Clements and Dr Nathalie Bock both received funding in the 2016 Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) grant round. DProf Clements was awarded a PCFA New Concept Grant of $99,732  over one year for her project entitled: “KLK14 as a novel therapeutic target in muscle wasting induced by androgen deprivation therapy”.

“In this project, we will investigate whether KLK14 will contribute to the process that leads to skeletal muscle wasting that occurs during androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in men with advance prostate cancer,” explained DProf Clements. Results from this study could ultimately could lead to the use of KLK14 inhibition, in conjunction with ADT, to reverse this process and improved quality of life for men on ADT.”

Dr Bock received a PCFA John Mills Young Investigator Award of $98,561 over one year to fund her project entitled: “Establishing a 3D in vitro model to replicate the tumour microenvironment in advanced prostate cancer bone metastasis”.

“One significant consequence of the therapies used to treat metastatic prostate cancer is a change in body metabolism and an increase in their overall fat content,” said Dr Bock. “This fat accumulation also occurs in the bones where the metastases develop. Considering that in other cancers, the presence of fat increases cancer survival, this project will test the idea that the presence of increased fat in the bone is a key contributor to prostate cancer progression and hence a therapeutic target against bone metastasis. Ultimately, the results from this project will assist clinicians to select better therapies for prostate cancer metastasis” explained Dr Bock.

PhD Opportunity at APCRC-Q

Discovery of extracellular vesicle lipid biomarker for prostate cancer

Exosomes are membrane-based extracellular vesicles that are released by cells into body fluids, including urine and serum. Preliminary evidence from our team on phospholipid analysis of exosomes in serum reveals significant changes in lipid profiles in cancer patients compared to healthy individuals and that these patterns largely correlate with those detected in the primary tumour.

This project forms part of a larger global collaborative project with The University of Adelaide, Katholiek Universitat Leuven, Belgium, and Cardiff University, UK with funding through a PCFA Movember Revolutionary Team Award.

To express your interest in this opportunity please contact Dr Carolina Soekmadji via email including:

    • a cover letter
    • a Curriculum Vitae detailing your research experience and qualifications
    • transcripts

Further information available:

Ling Receives Presentation Award

Dr Patrick Ling, a Vice Chancellor Research Fellow at the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland, was awarded the “Best Oral Free Paper Presentation at the 8th Organization of Oncology and Translation Research Conference (OOTR) in Japan.

Dr Patrick Ling, a Vice Chancellor Research Fellow at the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland, was awarded the “Best Oral Free Paper Presentation at the 8th Organization of Oncology and Translation Research Conference (OOTR) in Japan.

The title of the presentation was “Gamma-Tocotrienol as an effective agent in targeting prostate cancer stem cell-like population”.  This is a great representation of the work Dr Ling is undertaking in the usefulness of Vitamin E in reducing tumour growth in prostate cancer.

"Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in developed countries," Dr Ling said.

"It is responsible for more male deaths than any other cancer, except lung cancer."

Dr Ling said existing chemotherapy and hormonal therapy treatment of prostate cancer was insufficient because it failed to kill off the prostate cancer stem cells (CSCs) which were believed to be responsible for the regrowth of tumours.

However, the research team have discovered a particular form of T3, called gamma-tocotrienol (γ-T3), can successfully kill off the prostate cancer CSCs.

"Currently there is no effective treatment for metastatic prostate cancer, because it grows back after conventional therapies in more than 70 per cent of cases," he said.

"But with γ-T3, APCRC-Q researchers have found a better way to treat prostate cancer, which has the potential to inhibit recurrence of the disease."

Dr Ling said in preclinical trials, γ-T3 completely inhibited tumour formation in more than 70 per cent of the mice implanted with prostate cancer cells and fed the vitamin E constituent in water. In the remaining cases, tumour regrowth was considerably reduced, while tumours formed in 100 per cent of the control group.

The findings were published in 2011 in the International Journal of Cancer.

Dr Ling continues his study into the molecular mechanisms that underlie prostate cancer development. He is also interested in investigating the application of fundamental research to the development of improved treatments for hormone-refractory prostate cancer.

Prestigious Department of Defense Grant Awarded to APCRC–Q’s Dr Carolina Soekmadji

Dr Carolina Soekmadji, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre (APCRC-Q), has been awarded a highly competitive and prestigious Department of Defense FY11 Prostate Cancer Postdoctoral Training Award.

Dr Soekmadji won the US$115,000 United States Army funded grant for her project Exosome biomarkers: Defining prognosis for drug and castrate-resistant prostate cancer.

Dr Soekmadji’s research investigates the use of exosomes, tiny vesicles secreted by tumor cells into the blood or urine that contain a set of proteins and RNA resembling the cells of origin. These can be used as biomarkers to predict whether patients will respond or be resistant to certain treatment, avoiding therapy where it is unlikely to work. Success in this area of research would allow for a non-invasive characterization of a patient cancer progression or treatment response through a simple blood test.

“This study will allow for the discovery and characterization of potential novel biomarkers which will help to predict the response of prostate cancer patients, allowing patients and clinicians to make better informed decisions in regards to treatment options,” Dr Soekmadji said.

 

Media release

Media Release Contact:

Melissa Raassina
Communications Coordinator
Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland
Level 1, Building 1, Princess Alexandra Hospital
199 Ipswich Rd, Brisbane QLD 4102
t:
07 3176 1894
f: 07 3176 7440
e: melissa.raassina@qut.edu.au

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek visit APCRC-Q

Following the Australian Government’s announcement of $6.2m additional funding for the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland in May, the Centre welcomed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek during their visit to the Translational Research Institute (TRI) on Monday 19 August.

Prior to holding a press conference, Mr Rudd and Ms Plibersek donned white coats and toured the APCRC-Q laboratory.

In addition to meeting with researchers, the Prime Minister and Health Minister were shown some of the state-of-the-art equipment and facilities that the TRI has to offer. As part of the tour, Dr Mike Doran’s group presented the PM with a 3D-printed DNA Helix.

During his speech, the Prime Minister mentioned how impressed he was by the new research facilities at TRI and emphasised the importance of the work conducted by the various research groups within the Institute.

He also spoke of the value of the on-site pharmaceutical production facility, which enables TRI researchers to rapidly manufacture and test various drugs for efficacy – thereby facilitating and accelerating the process of translating research findings into tangible outcomes for patients.

Prof Colleen Nelson, APCRC-Q’s Executive Director, welcomed the opportunity to showcase the Centre’s research activities. “It was a pleasure to meet the Prime Minister and Health Minister during their visit to TRI” she said. “We are greatly encouraged by their recognition of the importance of our work and their support of our future efforts.”

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek

Prizes for three APCRC-Q Researchers

Congratulations to three award winners at the Princess Alexandra Research Symposium Research Excellence Awards

Three of our researchers won prizes at the Princess Alexandra Hospital Researchers Symposium Research Excellence Awards held on 2 August 2018.

 Farhana Matin received the Researcher of the Year (Laboratory/ Basic Science- Student Category) for her poster entitled: "A Plasma Biomarker Panel of Four MicroRNAs for the Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer".

 Jana Panchadarasan won the Best Poster (Student, Laboratory/Basic Science Category) at the PAH-Health Symposium 2018 for her poster entitled: “Functional analysis of GWAS identified 5p15 locus in prostate cancer”.

Shubhra Chandra received the Best Poster- People’s Choice Prize for her poster entitled: “Elucidating the role of Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1 Beta (HNF1B) transcript variants in prostate cancer.”

Congratulations to all three!

Prof Hutmacher wins ESB international Award

An announcement by the Awardee Committee of the European Society for Biomaterials (ESB) has named Professor Hutmacher the winner of the prestigious ESB international award for 2017.

Dietmar received the award in recognition of his work in which he described pre-clinical models for bone tissue engineering and the translation of tissue engineering concepts to cancer research to generate humanized mouse models.

The award was made at the ESB 2017 conference, which covered many different aspects of biomaterials research, from tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, to disease diagnosis and treatment, as well as biointerfaces and biofabrication, clustering around the main theme of the meeting “Translational activities for exploiting research on Biomaterials”.

Professor Hutmacher Honoured

Professor Hutmacher receives two prestigious honours.

On June 1, 2012  Professor Dietmar W. Hutmacher, Professor and Chair of Regenerative Medicine at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), and Investigator with the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland (APCRC – Q) received two prestigious honours.

Professor Hutmacher was made a Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering, a Fellowship that was bestowed upon him at the opening ceremony of the World Biomaterials Conference in Chengdu, China.

At the same meeting, Professor Hutmacher also received the Australian Society of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Award for Research Excellence and he was invited to give a subsequent Award keynote in Adelaide at the Australasian Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (ASBTE) Conference later in the year.

Congratulations Professor Hutmacher!

Professor Pamela Russell AM Retires

Professor Pamela Russell retired at the end of July this year and will be sorely missed.

Prof Russell, AM (PhD, Dip Ed) has an international reputation for her work in urological cancers - in particular bladder and prostate cancers - and has been an invaluable part of the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre-Queensland.

In 2015, she was made a fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, Limited and in 2003 she was awarded Membership of the Order of Australia (AM) for her research on bladder and prostate cancer.

Nationally, she helped to initiate the Australian Genitourinary Oncology Group and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) (of which she is a life member). From 2007 to 2010 Prof Russell served as an inaugural Director/Secretary of the Australasian Urologi- cal and Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Group (ANZUP). She is also an Australian editor for Urological Research and a member of Movember’s Global Scientific Committee.

Pam delivered her final address at the School Seminar on 28 July 2017.Her talk entitled “Life and Times of A Professional Beggar” was a great success.

Professor Pamela Russell made a fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences

Professor Pamela Russell AM, Head of Biomedical Imaging and Prostate Cancer Models at the APCRC-Q, has been recognised for her outstanding career by being named a fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

Prof Russell’s current research focus is on discovering new methods for targeted imaging of prostate specific-membrane antigen (PSMA) expressed on prostate cancers, and developing theranostic agents, which can be used for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET). She is also part of a team performing PSMA-PET and functional MR imaging on patients with early prostate cancer.

“We congratulate Prof Russell on this outstanding achievement,” said Executive Director of the APCRC-Q, Prof Colleen Nelson, “Hers is an impressive career, peppered with well-deserved accolades in recognition of the numerous significant contributions she has made to the field.”

“It is a great honour to receive this award,” said Prof Russell. “I am very proud and pleased to be a part of the Academy and further its aims to promote academic medicine and translational health and medical sciences in Australia, and contribute to the development of future generations of health and medical researchers.”

Current research projects in which Prof Russell is involved include research into new biomarkers in vesicles, known as exosomes, which may predict the response of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) to chemotherapy.

Prof Russell is a co-recipient, with Prof Nelson, of an NHMRC Development grant to study diagnosis imaging and therapy of prostate cancer. In addition to funding from the NHMRC, Prof Russell is part of the Movember Global Action Plan program, and a member of the APCRC-Q’s Movember Revolutionary Team Award, led by Prof Nelson. She also serves on the Movember Global Action Plan scientific and research advisory committees.

A co-founder of the Genitourinary Oncology Group Australasia, Professor Russell also contributed to the establishment of the PCFA of which she was an inaugural director and now holds life membership. Prof Russell was honoured by the PCFA for her tireless work in prostate cancer by being named the PCFA Cancer Researcher of the Year in 2010.

In 2009, she was made a life member of the Australasian Gene Therapy Society, and received the prize for outstanding research alumnus of Sydney's Kolling Institute of Medical Research in 2006.

In 2003, her research on bladder and prostate cancer saw her awarded membership of the Order of Australia.

She was Professor of Medicine, University of New South Wales (UNSW), and director of the Oncology Research Centre at the UNSW School of Medicine at Prince of Wales Hospital from 1992 to 2008.

She has been awarded more than $37 million in research grants and has published more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as several reviews and book chapters.

Professor Russell awarded ARC LIEF Grant to purchase new imaging platform

APCRC-Q’s Prof Pamela Russell, together with colleagues based at the Translational Research Institute and the University of Queensland’s Centre for Advanced Imaging, led a successful Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment, and Facilities (LIEF) Grant that was announced in November 2014.

The funds will be used to purchase the Vevo 2100 micro-ultrasound plus LAZR photoacoustic imaging platform, which will allow researchers to visualise and quantify, non-invasively, tissue and molecular structures; the movement and behaviour of cells; and the delivery patterns of administered imaging dyes and nanoparticles in pre-clinical models and reconstructed tissues.

“We are very excited to have been awarded this grant,” said Prof Pamela Russell, Head of Biomedical Imaging at APCRC-Q. “This will enable us to obtain anatomical, functional, physiological and molecular data simultaneously and in real-time, with resolution down to 40 micrometres,”

 “This will translate into both user efficiency and laboratory cost effectiveness, but more significantly is expected to result in greater understanding of fundamental mechanisms regulating the body's cell and tissue functions,” adds Prof Russell.

Publication Success for Drs Nataly Stylianou and Brett Hollier

Dr Nataly Stylianou and Dr Brett Hollier from the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre- Queensland (APCRC-Q), recently published a research article in Oncogene (September 7th 2018).

Dr Stylianou’s research highlighted the dynamic transcriptional nature of the epithelial-mes­enchymal plasticity in prostate cancer and how it is associated with poor clinical outcome across multiple cancers.

Since then, they have been invited to present their findings at in­ternational conferences, as well as at the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) Journal Club webinar series next year.

You can view their publication here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41388-018-0488-5

QUT Annual Scholarship Round NOW OPEN

Applications Close Friday 12th October, 5pm for 2013 funding.
  • A range of scholarships are available for domestic and international students.
  • Prospective and current Higher Degree Research (HDR) students (Masters by Research, PhD and Professional Doctorate) are eligible to apply.
  • Scholarships are tax exempt for full-time students.
  • Part-time scholarships may be offered to students with significant carer responsibilities or medical conditions. Part-time scholarships are taxable.

 

HOW TO APPLY:

 

WEBSITE AND CONTACT DETAILS:

Find out more about the Annual Scholarship Round at http://www.student.qut.edu.au/research/scholarships-and-grants.

 

If you have any questions about applying for a scholarship, please email health.research@qut.edu.au or phone (07) 3138 8290.

QUT APR Intern Program

Ms Farhana Matin secured a place on the Australian Postgraduate Research Internship Program (APRIntern) at the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist.

Ms Farhana Matin is a PhD student in our Centre and is the Faculty of Health’s first HDR student to secure a place on the Australian Postgraduate Research Internship Program (APRIntern) at the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist.

Farhana will be working on a project which involves the preparation of the Queensland Government Research and Development Expenditure Report 2017-2018.

QUT is offering 2 research capacity building 5 year professorial appointments in Cancer Biology and Molecular Medicine

QUT is a highly successful, energetic and innovative university that is backing its aspirations with a significant investment in people, state-of-art infrastructure and collaborative work environments.

QUT invites applications from high profile outstanding researchers, especially those with complementary interests to our current prostate, breast, ovarian, endometrial and lung cancer strengths.

Application details for the 2 positions are available from:

Record Movember Year

Movember has reported a record year for 2010.
Record Movember Year

APCRC - Q Researchers

Donations are at an all-time high for the the month when men grow moustaches to support prostate cancer and men's depression awareness.

Australia's fundraising total is currently at $19 897 780 - close to Canada's winning takings of $20 578 682.

We are also proud to report that the APCRC - Q's online team raised $5306.

In Australia, money raised is donated to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and Beyond Blue. For more information visit http://au.movember.com

Representing QUT

Dr Patrick Ling was the only QUT representative for an ASMR award.

Recently, Dr Patrick Ling, Vice Chancellor Research Fellow at the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland (APCRC – Q), represented the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in the Queensland Health and Medical Research Awards (ASMR).

Dr Ling was QUT’s only representative and was a finalist in the Senior Researcher Award for his project entitled “Targeting prostate cancer stem cell in the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer”.

Dr Ling was announced runner-up at a Special Dinner ceremony.

Congratulations to Dr Ling on his nomination!

Ten Years of Progress in Prostate Cancer

2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia's Community Attitudes Survey. In this report they highlight the key results of this year's survey, based on the latest available figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

2012 Community Attitudes Survey


Areas highlighted include community awareness of prostate cancer as a top health issue; attitudes and behaviour towards testing; and attitudes and towards available support services.

Prostate Cancer is an important public health issue, with the latest figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare suggesting that with the rising Australian population, increasing life expectancy and the expectation of continuing increases in prostate cancer incidence, by 2020 the number of prostate cancers diagnosed will be somewhere between 25,000 and 31,000.

Given the impact the disease has and will continue to have on the community, the annual Community Attitudes Survey is a very important piece of research for PCFA as it helps to underpin their understanding of community attitudes towards prostate cancer, gauge how they are changing over time and also develop and improve the services and support that they offer to men and their families.

The report shows that men are much more aware of their health today compared to ten years’ ago.  Research shows a 12% increase in the number of men who feel informed about prostate cancer over the last decade. And more than 50% of men see prostate cancer as the most important health issue they face

It is noted that more men are now getting themselves tested with 9 out of 10 men tested by the time they reach their late 60s and more than 70% of men say they expect to have a test sometime in the future.  Interestingly, GPs are the main influencers for men to be tested with two thirds of men saying their doctor suggested or conducted a test. Two-thirds of men feel informed about the test, but worryingly almost 40% say the advice they receive about the test is confusing.

For some time now it has been thought that men unlike women are bad at seeking help.  PCFA's survey found that one quarter of men sought help on being diagnosed and found information and support services very valuable. However, they also found that men are often unaware of what is available and need their doctors and other health professionals to be more proactive in guiding them to support services.

These are just some of the highlights from the 2012 Survey.  To read the full version of the report, please visit the PCFA website.

Research Excellence Awards at PA Health Symposium

Arutha Kulasinghe, Jyotsna Batra, and Janaththani Panchadsaram received Research Excellence Awards at the recent Princess Alexandra Hospital Health Symposium.

Previously known as the Young Investigator Awards, the Research Excellence Awards are designed to promote all forms of health research on campus and are open to both full-time researchers and health professionals engaged in research in addition to their clinical practice.

Arutha Kulasinghe won Researcher of the Year (oral presentation) category. Jyotsna Batra was awarded the People's Choice Researcher of the Year (oral presentation) and Janaththani Panchadasaram won the People's Choice Poster Laboratory/Basic Science Award.

The awards were presented as part of the 57th PAH Health Symposium a four-day event held from Tuesday 1 to Friday 4 August 2017 with the theme, Personalised medicine—the future of healthcare.

 

The Research Excellence Awards showcased a multidisciplinary program of oral and poster presentations—awarding the best medical, surgical, nursing, allied health, and laboratory/basic science research.

Revolutionary e-health App will support vulnerable cancer patients

A new free i-phone App will be released tomorrow on the Apple App Store, specifically designed to assist men with advanced prostate cancer.

The App is the first of its kind and is the result of a collaborative e-health research project coordinated by Australian Prostate Cancer Research and led by Urologist Dr Jim Duthie with support from leading App production company Appster.

There are approximately 25,000 men in Australia undergoing hormone therapy due to their advanced prostate cancer. The treatment is difficult for patients and requires a number of blood tests and health checks at different times due to the challenging side-effects of the drugs and the need to manage these carefully. The App is simply called “adt” – which stands for androgen deprivation therapy.

“As you can imagine, this is a terribly hard process for patients and their families, so anything that we can do to make information and support more accessible and help them manage will be a great outcome.  The App provides automated reminders through push notifications direct to the phone, thereby providing a treatment management system patients can rely on. But more than anything, we aim to ease the tremendous burden that patients are already facing” said App creator Dr Duthie.

The patient, or their clinician, starts the App when treatment commences and it then automatically alerts the patient through their iPhone as to when their next test is required. It also tells them about the test and provides useful supporting information for each stage of the treatment.

“Each year around 3,000 men die of prostate cancer and the vast majority have drug therapy as part of their treatment. To deliver such a clinically relevant e-health innovation through collaborative research really shows that we can achieve great things when we work together. E-health is a major area of research for us to help deliver improved clinical support, in particular for regional and remote communities who face inequity of access” said James Garland, CEO of Australian Prostate Cancer Research.

The tool is easy to use, free of charge and can be accessed world-wide through the Apple App Store by searching for “adt” or visit www.hormonetherapyapp.org.au

Rodeo Raises Funds

Movember has struck a chord around the world with the Queensland Working Cow Horse Club’s (QWCHC) 22nd November Event proving no exception.

Held at the Caboolture Showground indoor arena,  the event was well-attended and ran over the entire weekend, with a two-handed snaffle bit cutting competition followed by a wild card team penning event.

The wild card team penning event donated all nominations to the APCRC-Q, raising a total of $1,600 towards the cause.

QWCHC Rodeo 4

Spectator and competitor donations also added to this amount, as did a raffle held throughout the weekend.

Novelty fines of $5 were also dealt out over the weekend for infringements such as losing a hat in the arena whilst riding.

These fines also added to the fundraising.

QWCHC President John Brannigan said it was a massive weekend of competition and is pleased to have raised this significant donation.

Congratulations and much appreciation to John and the team at QWCHC for their well-needed donation to Prostate Cancer Research.

QWCHC Rodeo 3

photography by Vicki Wood and sourced from Sunshine Coast Daily

Sizzling Support for PCFA’s Big Aussie Barbie

APCRC-Q continued its support for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia’s Big Aussie Barbie campaign with three fundraising events in September.

Now in its fifth year, the campaign aims to raise over $1 million and promote community awareness of prostate cancer.

APCRC-Q researchers donned aprons and tongs to host a barbeque at QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation on Friday 26 September. As the beneficiary of funding from PCFA, the Centre is pleased to contribute to this campaign.  With generous support from local businesses, APCRC-Q donated over $900. 

PCFA logo

The Australian Innovation Challenge 2012

Could your bright idea be a game changer?

From The Australian:

If so, we can help you put it into play, through the $70,000 The Australian Innovation Challenge awards. Brought to you by The Australian in association with Shell and supported by the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and
Tertiary Education, these awards can help give your idea clout in the economy, the environment or the community.

The inaugural awards last year uncovered and championed inspired innovations created in universities, top laboratories and backyard sheds across Australia. Some entrants are already reaping the rewards of the Challenge – prestige and publicity as well as much-needed prize money.

Professor Mark Kendall, of the University of Queensland, and his team, won the overall professional categories prize for Nanopatch – a patch to replace needles and syringes in vaccination. Inventor Jeremy Woodhill won the Backyard Innovation prize for his energy-saving smart powerpoint.

Whether you're a professional scientist or engineer, or an inventor working in your shed, anyone can enter - individuals or teams.

ENTRIES NOW EXTENDED TILL AUGUST 26, 2012

 

 

WIN A SHARE OF $70,000 IN PRIZE MONEY

Professional Categories
The winners in each professional category will receive a $5,000 prize and vie for a further $25,000 for the overall prize. The categories are:

  • Minerals and energy
  • Health
  • Environment, agriculture and food
  • ICT
  • Community services
  • Education
  • Manufacturing and hi-tech design

Backyard Innovation
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Covering ideas ranging from clever domestic appliances to more efficient motors, this category is open to the general public. The winner will take out a $10,000 cash prize.

ALL ENTRIES CLOSE AUGUST 26, 2012

Enter Now

Prostate Cancer Researchers receive School of Biomedical Sciences Support

APCRC-Q researchers were awarded funding from the 2018 School of Biomedical Sciences Support Schemes

Congratulations to the following recipients of the 2018 School of Biomedical Sciences Industry Collaboration Preparedness Pilot Research Support Scheme.

A/Prof Sally Stephenson and Dr Mohanan Maharaj received $10,000 for their project entitled: ‘SUMOylated pro­teins in cancer’.

Prof Lisa Chopin, Dr Inge Seim, Dr Jennifer Gunter, Dr Penny Jeffery, and Dr Michelle Maugham were award­ed $10,000 for their project entitled: ‘Investigating the mechanism and effect of new generation GHSR antagonists in prostate cancer’.

Congratulations to the following recipients of the 2018 School of Biomedical Sciences Research Infrastructure Support Scheme

A group of researchers led by A/Prof Jyotsna Batra, Dr Brett Hollier, DProf Judith Clements, and A/Prof Pamela Pollock, along with researchers from APCRC-Q including Dr Martin Sadowski and Dr Jennifer Gunter, and individual researchers including Dr Sri Srinivasan, Dr Marianna Volpert, Dr Katrina Sweeny and Dr Nataly Stylianou received $3,100 to purchase a Multiquip Incubator (E2 Automatic Turning Incubator).

Translational Research Institute To Appoint New Chief Executive Officer

TRI is now progressing the appointment of a CEO and Director of Research.

Prof Ian Frazer will conclude his three year tenure as CEO and Director of Research of Translational Research Institute (TRI) on 30 June 2014. He will continue to support the development of the TRI as an Ambassador for its new fundraising Board. 

TRI is now progressing the appointment of a CEO and Director of Research.  Download the CEO Prospectus from the TRI website.  Initial enquiries should be directed in confidence to: Dr Rachel Lucas, RLC Search on +61 (0)402 891 029 or rachel@rlcsearch.com

 

TRI building

Photos courtesy of Translational Research Institute

TRI hosts the Brisbane Diamantina Health Partners, Translational Research Institute, Circulating Tumour Cell Symposium

The Brisbane Diamantina Health Partners (BDHP), Translational Research Institute (TRI), Circulating Tumour Cell (CTC) Symposium was recently held at the Translational Institute on the Princess Alexandra Hospital Campus.

Attended by some 130 delegates, the one day symposium addressed a wide spectrum of topics in the fields of circulating tumour cells (CTC) and liquid biopsy.

 More than 73% of the registrants represented BDHP partners at QUT, UQ and Griffith Universities, affiliated research institutes, and Qld Health, while the rest came from Victoria, NSW, WA and SA.  Representatives from seven companies and industry were also in attendance, together with representatives from consumer advocacy groups.

 Co-Conveners, Prof Colleen Nelson, Executive Director of the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre-Queensland, and Prof Rik Thompson, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation Theme Leader for Chronic Disease and Ageing, agreed that the meeting was a resounding success.

 “The symposium provided up to date coverage of many aspects of CTC research and implementation across the four major themes: Capture / Isolation; Culture / Propagation; Functional & Molecular Characterisation; ctDNA / CTC / DTC comparisons,” said Prof Nelson.

 Each of the thematic sessions was presented in a workshop style, featuring short focused presentations from invited speakers followed by open comments from the floor with discussion from the Speaker Panel. Each of these themes was also explored in more detail with separate break-out sessions for one hour after lunch.

Prof Thompson commended the various speakers and presenters for their valued contributions: “Our international guest, Prof Jean Paul Thiery, Head of the Department of Biochemistry of the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and member of the Cancer Science Institute, National University of Singapore, delivered an outstanding presentation on epithelial mesenchymal transition, lively discussion and broad knowledge base and experience in translational science,”

 “The National speakers, Dr Majid Ibrahim Warkiani, Prof Matt Trau, Dr Ian Vela, A/Prof Olga Martin, A/Prof Kevin Spring, A/Prof Chamindie Punyadeera, Prof Erik Thompson, A/Prof Alex Dobrovic, Dr Albert Mellick, and Dr Joachim Fluher, provided terrific insight into the very active research ongoing in Australia in the CTC field.”

“Technical presentations on the latest technologies were made by our session sponsors: Dr Anthony Davis kindly presented on behalf of ALS CellCelector, Dr Evgeny Glazov for BioRad, Dr Joachim Fluher (Genostics) on behalf of Prof. Katharina Pachmann from Maintrac.”

“A meeting highlight was the discussion session at the end of the day,” added Prof Thompson.” This was chaired by Prof Colleen Nelson, who involved all the speakers from the day in a very insightful and critical discussion on the translation of CTCs into clinical utility. This discussion went for almost an hour with strong contributions both from the floor and audience.”

Session sponsors included Maintrac – Genostics, Illumina, ALS and StemCell Technologies, with meeting sponsorship from Agena Bioscience, Bio-Rad, Clearbridge Biomedics, GeneWorks, and Qiagen. The EMPathy Breast Cancer Network / National Breast Cancer Foundation, Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland, and Translational Research Institute also provided support for the meeting.

 “We very gratefully acknowledge all our sponsors and supporters,” said Prof Nelson. “We are especially appreciative of the generous sponsorship by a number of CTC-related equipment and diagnostics companies, which allowed us to simplify and open up the meeting with free registration.”

 “We would also like to thank the local organising committee: Tony Blick, Anthony Davies, Jennifer Gunter, Arutha Kulasinghe, Liliana Endo-Munoz, Ken O’Byrne, Chamindie Punyadeera, Euan Walpole, Elizabeth Williams, for their valuable contributions to the success of the day,” said Prof Thompson.

Princess Alexandra Research Foundation awards for APCRC-Q Researchers

Dr Brett Hollier and A/Prof Elizabeth Williams are lead investigators on two successful research grants from the Princess Alexandra Research Foundation.

Dr Hollier received a Translational Research Innovation Award for his project entitled: The translation of a novel targeted agent in the treatment of neuroendocrine prostate cancer. The grant is valued at $100,000 for one year.

“This project focusses on testing a new targeted agent to treat advanced forms of prostate cancer, which are resistant to current androgen-targeted therapies,” said Dr Hollier, “We greatly appreciate the financial support from the PA Research Foundation that will make this important research possible.”

A/Prof Elizabeth Williams and her transdisciplinary team of clinicians and researchers (Dr Ian Vela, DProf Dietmar Hutmacher, Dr Ben Shepherd, Prof Matt Brown, Dr Nathalie Bock, and Dr Saeid Alinezhad) also received a Translational Research Innovation Award of $100,000 for one year for their project entitled: “A multifaceted precision approach to high risk prostate cancer”.

“We are delighted to receive this award, which will fund our project to assess feasibility and efficacy of a translational “precision” approach to men with high risk prostate cancer in order to direct future therapeutic decisions,” said A/Prof Elizabeth Williams.

“By examining tissue from prostate cancer tumours of men with high risk disease we hope to identify effective therapy strategies to guide physicians in their choice of treatment to avoid those treatment regimens to which the cancer shows intrinsic resistance and to help patients avoid therapies which will inevitably not yield results.”

United States Department of Defence Funding Award for APCRC-Q Research team

APCRC-Q researchers awarded a US Department of Defense Idea Development Award.

APCRC-Q researchers Dr Jyotsna Batra, Dr Ian Vela, D/Prof Judith Clements, and Prof Colleen Nelson along with A/Prof Rothnagel and Dr Popat (University of Queensland) and Prof George Yousef (Canada) and Prof Rosalind Eeles (London) were awarded a United States Department of Defence Idea Development Award for their project entitled: ‘The long and short of a GWAS identified long non-coding RNA’.

US Department of Defense Pre-Announcement for Prostate Cancer Research Program

The US Department of Defense has announced $80 million in funding for the DoD Prostate Cancer Research Program to support innovative, high-impact prostate cancer research.

The focus areas for the program are: 1) Biomarker Development; 2) Genetics; 3) Imaging; 4) Mechanisms of Resistance; 5) Survivorship and Palliative Care; 6) Therapy; and 7) Tumor and Microenvironment Biology. 

It is anticipated that Program Announcements and General Application Instructions for the 13 awards will be posted on the grants.gov website in May and June 2013.

Further information is available at: http://cdmrp.army.mil/pubs/press/2013/13pcrppreann.shtml  

Swan says "get tested"

The Courier Mail's coverage of the Deputy PM's visit to the Princess Alexandra Hospital and prostate cancer clinic.

Wayne Swan urges men to get prostate check

FEDERAL Treasurer Wayne Swan has urged ageing men to get over any hang-ups about their sex lives and get checked for prostate cancer as soon as possible.

Mr Swan, who was treated for prostate cancer a decade ago, said anyone over 50 was at risk of having prostate cancer and the odds increased if there was a history of the disease in the family.

He said there were myths circulating about the reliability of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) tests that needed to be dispelled.

"We need to reassure men they should be tested for prostate cancer," Mr Swan told reporters at Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital today.

"I was lucky that I had a very switched-on GP.

"The challenge with prostate cancer is if it's diagnosed early it doesn't escape the prostate.

"When it comes to prostate cancer there is a fear about their sex lives, no doubt about that.

"But being alive is the most important thing."

Mr Swan opened up about his cancer scare to sufferer Terry Malone, who shares a birthday with the treasurer and will have an operation early in 2012.

The federal budget had included funds to research a cure for prostate cancer, Mr Swan said.

Prostate Cancer Foundation chief Dr Anthony Lowe said slightly more men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year than women with breast cancer.

He said that alone should highlight to men the importance of having a PSA test.

Wayne Swan Visits the PA Hospital

*story republished with permission of The Courier-Mail.

Winners of the 2018 Carla Patterson Award

Dr Claire Levrier and co-authors won the 2018 Carla Patterson Award for their publication in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics

Dr Claire Levrier and co-authors won the 2018 Carla Patterson Award in the category of 'Overall IHBI Award' with their publication entitled: 6α-Acetoxyanopterine: A Novel Structure Class of Mitotic Inhibitor Disrupting Microtubule Dynamics in Prostate. APCRC-Q affiliated co-authors include: Drs Anja Rockstroh, Melanie Lehman, Martin Sadowski and Prof Colleen Nelson.

You can view their winning publication at https://eprints.qut.edu.au/102691/.

The full publication reference is: Levrier C, Sadowski MC, Rockstroh A, Gabrielli B, Kavallaris M, Lehman M, Davis RA, Nelson CC. 6α-Acetoxyanopterine: A Novel Structure Class of Mitotic Inhibitor Disrupting Microtubule Dynamics in Prostate Cancer Cells. Mol Cancer Ther. 2017 Jan;16(1):3-15. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-16-0325.

Congratulations to all concerned.

Women in Technology Award for Prof Colleen Nelson

Prof Colleen Nelson received A WIT Award at the QLD Women In Technology Awards Gala Dinner in recognition of her achievements in Prostate Cancer Research.

Prof Colleen Nelson received the Life Sciences Outstanding Award, while A/Prof Jyotsna Batra was a finalist for the Life Sciences Rising Star Award, and PhD Candidate, Srilakshmi Srinivasan was a finalist for the Life Sciences Young Achiever Award.

This year marked the 20th Anniversary of the Women in Technology (WiT) Awards, which was founded by 10 women in 1997 and has grown to become one of the leading industry associations for women in Australia. WiT represents the interests of all women in the fields of Information Technology and Life Sciences Technology and provides a safe networking and learning environment for ladies at all stages of their careers.