Heart Research Australia, whose mission is to support world class and emerging researchers conduct ground-breaking research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, were provided with a $30,589 donation to assist in the funding of Professor Helge Rasmussen’s project, ‘Development of novel method to reduce radiotherapy-induced heart damage in breast cancer’.
One in eight Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 85. With an average age at diagnosis of 60 years, and after successful treatment, many will have a long, unadjusted life expectancy due to improved diagnosis and treatments with the only long-term side effects being mostly cardiovascular, from radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy.
In a novel approach to reduce these side effects and heart muscle damage in particular, Professor Rasmussen and his team have developed a small protein molecule (peptide) that greatly increases the sensitivity of cancer cells to radiation, while having a much less pronounced impact on heart cells.
The objective of Professor Rasmussen’s project is to test if this new peptide can reduce or eliminate the risk of heart failure induced by radiation for cancer treatment, without decreasing the effectiveness of the radiation in treating the cancer.
The team’s test tube studies have found that the effectiveness of radiation was increased when the peptide they’ve developed was applied to the cancer cells. After successfully testing on cells, the team are now testing the application of the peptide to tumours in mice with the objective of progressing towards human trials. The recent results from animal studies are very promising and reflect what they had discovered in the test tube studies.
Foundation Chair and Cromwell COO, Jodie Clark, stated, “The research conducted by Professor Rasmussen and his team is truly ground-breaking, and the results are incredibly promising.”
“To be able to support a cause as worthwhile as Heart Research Australia truly underpins why the Foundation was established, to enact significant change by funding groups and organisations who may otherwise miss out.”
“Underpinning Cromwell’s values is the belief that we have a responsibility to build stronger communities, and one way we do this is through the Foundation. Since it’s 2014 inception, the Foundation has donated more than $1 million to enact real change,” Ms Clark concluded.
Further information on Heart Research Australia and their ground-breaking research is available at www.heartresearch.com.au.
Donations to the Cromwell Property Group Foundation of more than $2 are tax deductible. To donate, request a grant or seek more information, visit www.cromwellfoundation.org.au.