The chances of a woman surviving ovarian cancer and her quality of life during treatment could be significantly improved, with a clinical trial about to get underway in Sydney.
UNSW Conjoint Professor Michael Friedlander is conducting the Australian arm of the international trial which focuses on changing how chemotherapy is administered.
Currently, women with newly diagnosed epithelial ovarian cancer are given standard three-weekly chemotherapy. Now they have the chance to be part of a randomised clinical trial where the chemotherapy can be given in smaller doses, more often.
This is a phase three trial, whereby treatment is given to a large number of women, to confirm effectiveness and monitor side effects, among other information.
Cancer Australia and Cancer Council Australia are co-funding the study, awarding Professor Friedlander, who is based at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Radwick, a three-year grant of $514,482.
The news comes at the start of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Almost 1300 women in Australia are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. Ovarian cancer has the lowest survival rate - only 43 out of every 100 women are alive five years after diagnosis. This compares with 67% for all cancers combined.
Two other UNSW cancer researchers have also been awarded grants:
Dr Jeff (Fengyi) Jin from the Kirby Institute recevied $192,000 over two years from Cancer Australia to test biomarkers of the human papillomavirus to determine whether these tests can help improve colorectal cancer screening.
Dr Phoebe Phillips from the School of Medical Sciences is into the second year of a two-year grant of $177,450 from Cure Cancer Australia to investigate cell survival in pancreatic cancer.
Media contact: Susi Hamilton, UNSW Media, 9385 8107 or 0422 934 024