Latest News

Investment into incurable blood cancer research

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

University of Adelaide-led cancer researchers have received $600,000 to help drive rapid advancements in treatments for the incurable blood cancer, myeloma.

The funding is part of the Leukaemia Foundation’s Strategic Ecosystem Research Partnership (SERP) initiative.

Professor Andrew Zannetino, Interim Executive Dean and Professor of Experimental Haematology at the University of Adelaide and head of the Myeloma Research Laboratory, based at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and colleagues from Garvan Institute of Medical Research and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, will use the three-year grant to investigate why myeloma patients relapse.

Their studies have identified a population of myeloma cancer cells that appear to be dormant or in a sleep-like state, which are hidden away or buried within the bone marrow. These dormant cells persist following therapy and can be reactivated or woken-up to grow at a later stage, leading to disease relapse. To cure myeloma, it is therefore essential to kill these rare, therapy-resistant dormant cells.

Their research will identify new markers of myeloma cancer cell dormancy that will be used to specify which types of treatments are likely to have the most favourable clinical outcomes for myeloma patients. Using new state-of-the-art immunotherapy techniques, they aim to develop a treatment that can target and kill these dormant cells.

Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, affects more than 140,000 people worldwide each year. Over 2000 Australians will be diagnosed with myeloma in 2019, and it accounts for 20% of all blood cancer-related deaths.

In recent years, a large number of new drugs have been developed to treat myeloma, which has seen patients living longer without evidence of disease. Unfortunately, despite these improvements, all myeloma patients will eventually stop responding to therapy and will experience relapse.

The SERP grants, which have been awarded to five of Australia’s leading cancer researchers, will be used for new state-of-the-art immunotherapy techniques, new drug design and molecular technology to understand the mechanisms of relapse and continue to drive rapid advancements in the treatment of myeloma.

Professor Zannettino is also the Blue Lantern Ambassador for the Leukaemia Foundation’s annual Light the Night Lantern Walk which will be held at the University of Adelaide for the first time on Friday 11 October. On that night more than 35,000 people will gather to walk at Light the Night events across the country. Carrying lanterns in symbolic colours of blue, white and gold, family, friends, colleagues and neighbours will come together for an evening and a reflective walk to support all Australians impacted by blood cancer. [Full Story]

RSS News Feed

More Headlines

Breaking down marine plastic pollution

Thursday, 1 August 2019

A University of Adelaide-led research team has developed a new approach to purging water sources of the microplastics that pollute them without harming nearby microorganisms. [Full Story]

Master's degree builds submarine expertise

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

A rejuvenated Master of Marine Engineering program is seeing dozens of postgraduate students at the University of Adelaide prepare for a career building and sustaining Australia's current and future submarines. [Full Story]

Report: Australia should learn from global hydrogen focus

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Countries around the world are now making rapid advances in hydrogen energy technologies and strategy - and Australia has much to learn from their experience, according to the authors of a new report by the University of Adelaide. [Full Story]

Further funding for underground dark matter lab

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Additional funding of $5 million has been announced for the continuation of the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory (SUPL). The University of Adelaide is a founding partner of the project to construct a national underground facility to study dark matter. [Full Story]

Upcoming Events

Exhibition: Science as a Human Endeavour

Date/Time: Monday, 24 June 2019 - Friday, 9 August 2019
Location: Level 1, Barr Smith Library

Criticism as Intervention: The Fictions of J. M. Coetzee

Date/Time: Wednesday, 31 July 2019 - Thursday, 5 September 2019
Location: 209 Napier Building; 314 Ligertwood Building

Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth

Date/Time: Saturday, 3 August 2019 - Saturday, 17 August 2019, 7:30 pm to 10:15 pm
Location: Little Theatre, North West Corner of Union House, North Terrace Campus

Lunchtime Concert - Ensemble Q

Date/Time: Friday, 9 August 2019, 1:10 pm to 2:10 pm
Location: Elder Hall

Evening Concert - Fortepiano Recital

Date/Time: Saturday, 10 August 2019, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Location: Elder Hall