Funding facilitates drug trials for aggressive lymphomas

Funding facilitates drug trials for aggressive lymphomas

Illuminate newsletter, Sept 2016
September 2016
 

Dr Mary Ann Anderson
Dr Mary Ann Anderson will facilitate drug trials for
hard-to-treat lymphomas, over a three year period.

The Snowdome Foundation, together with Gandel Philanthropy, has provided funding for a new fellowship that will allow the Institute’s Dr Mary Ann Anderson to facilitate drug trials for hard-to-treat lymphomas, over a three year period.

Some variants of lymphoma have proven resistant to standard lines of treatment, such as chemotherapy, leaving few effective therapy options.

The skill set needed for effective trials

Dr Anderson has worked for the past four years on translational laboratory research into a new class of anti-cancer drugs called BH3-mimetics. She brings the skills and knowledge needed for further successful clinical trials.

New class of anti-cancer drugs 

BH3-mimetics have been developed following discoveries made at the Institute over the past three decades. In clinical trials BH3-mimetics have been shown to be effective in patients whose lymphoma has proved resistant to other therapies.

Clinical trials to identify biomarkers

The next challenge is identifying which patients and which types of lymphoma could prove responsive. Dr Anderson, with the support of this new fellowship, will lead the work to discover the necessary biomarkers.

Dr Anderson said she would work with doctors and researchers throughout Victoria to accelerate identification of the biomarkers that would help patients who have lymphoma to find the right clinical trial for them.

“With support from donors such as Gandel Philanthropy and the Snowdome Foundation, I can use my skills as a clinician-researcher to undertake this vital research,” Dr Anderson said.

“Proof-of-principle clinical trials are needed to determine the biomarkers – which indicate the right patients and the right sort of disease profile – that can be best tackled with these new drugs,” she said.

Critically needed supporters

CEO of Gandel Philanthropy Mr Vedran Drakulic said it was critically important to encourage and engage brilliant researchers in undertaking direct translational research.

“Supporting the development of better treatments will hopefully speed up the process for having them more widely available.”

“Supporting the development of better treatments will hopefully speed up the process for having them more widely available,” Mr Drakulic said.

Co-founder of the Snowdome Foundation Professor Miles Prince said the foundation’s mission was to fund the acceleration of cutting edge treatments to give patients hope where they couldn’t normally find it.

“We thank Gandel Philanthropy for partnering with us to allow Dr Anderson to pursue her research and ‘make hope real’ for Australians suffering from hard-to-treat lymphomas,” Professor Prince said.

 

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