We're getting closer all the time

We're incredibly proud of the 24 significant, world-class cancer breakthroughs that we’ve funded since 2007.

A huge thank you to our supporters who raise the funds to make this possible and to the brilliant researchers, scientists and cancer institutions who are working tirelessly to outsmart cancer and make a better tomorrow for us all.

1. Dr Paul Timpson – the Garvan Institute

This article details the work of funded scientists Dr. Paul Timpson and company at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research uncovering a promising new approach to treating pancreatic cancer, by targeting the tissue around the tumour to make it ‘softer’ and more responsive to chemotherapy. 

Professor Michelle Haber & Dr Glenn Marshall

Every year, 950 Australian children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer and every week nearly 3 Australian children and adolescents will die of cancer. This article details the highly successful works of the Children's Cancer Institute (CCIA), taking research and technologies into several different cancer types into viable treatments for children affected by cancer. These successes were achieved in collaboration with the Kid's Cancer Centre (KCC).

Dr. Charles Bailey – Targeted Gene Therapy Research

Normal white blood cells make use of a molecular ‘trash can’ to control many aspects of our body’s cellular defences. Over a hundred thousand white blood cells are produced in everyone’s body per second and their maturation must be carefully controlled. This article unveiled how commonly occurring stretches of DNA that interrupt genes (known as introns) play a crucial role in controlling gene expression.

Dr Bryan Day – Glioblastoma

This article explores ways to target the protein 'EphA3' which is found in large amounts in aggressive, adult Glioblastoma (a highly invasive Brain Cancer) and negatively affects survival rates. Therapies targeting this molecule significantly slow tumour progression. The information revealed in this research will improve survival rates in the future for many adult patients facing a Glioblastoma diagnosis.

Dr Christopher J. Chan – Cellular reactions in the field of immunology

This is a review based on Dr Chan's work and others, which outlines how a particular immune cell called an NK cell is able to recognise and suppress cancer. Also, it outlines how to target these cells therapeutically for the treatment of cancer.

Dr Christopher J. Chan – Contribution of a surface protein

The work outlines the contribution of a surface protein that is expressed on immune cells to progression of Graft versus Host Disease.

Dr Christopher J. Chan – Importance of immune system

This work outlines that the immune system is important in the efficacy of a drug that is able to target genetic abnormalities in lymphoma.

Dr Christopher J. Chan – Interaction of two immune proteins

This work characterises the novel interaction of two immune proteins and their role in regulating the function of NK cells.

Dr Christopher J. Chan – Detecting cancer cells early

This work reports a novel mechanism by which the immune system can sense cellular dysfunction that can lead to cancer development at a very early stage, outlining the importance of the immune system in the early detection of cancer cells.

Dr Christopher J. Chan – Biology & function of a protein family

This is a review based on my work and others that summarises the biology and function of a protein family highly expressed in the immune system that has become very attractive for therapeutic targeting in cancer.

Dr Christopher J. Chan – Different signals can affect the function of the NK cells

This work shows how different signals can affect the function of NK cells and how these could be used therapeutically to tune these cells to have specific functions in particular disease contexts.

Dr Christopher J. Chan – Surface protein importance

This is the first work describing the function of a novel surface protein that is highly expressed in the immune system. Dr Chan and his team characterised where this protein is found and which immunological processes it is involved in.

Dr Christopher J. Chan - Regulation of NK Cell functions

This is the first work describing the function of a novel surface protein that is highly expressed in the immune system. We characterised where this protein is found and which immunological processes it is involved in.

Dr Christopher J. Chan – Cutting Edge

This work shows the importance of a surface protein in activating an immune cell known as a T cell that is very important in suppressing cancer development.

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research – Ovarian cancer research

This study focused on the protein ZNF300P1 and it's behaviour/functions within Ovarian Cancer tissue. The findings revealed that it plays an important role in regulating key cell cycles and cell motility networks in human ovarian surface epithelial cells. It also may play a role in promoting metastasis in ovarian cancer cells.

Dr Tracy Putoczki and Dr Chen Chen Jiang – Gastrointestinal cancers

In their exploration of the cytokin IL-11, these researchers exposed a potential target for future cancer treatments that will assist in the suppression of human gastrointestinal tumours.

Dr Daniel Speidel – Cellular Stress Responses

In response to hazardous agents, cells activate a range of complicated signalling pathways. These so-called cellular stress responses are pivotal for tumour suppression and also the success of radio- and chemotherapy. The EBook features 12 articles on cellular stress responses (review papers as well as original research articles presenting new findings) written by leading scientists in the field.

Dr Daniel Speidel – Tumour Suppression

The tumour suppressor p53 is a central player in cellular DNA damage responses and one of the most extensively studied genes in cancer research. In this review, Dr Speidel summarizes current knowledge on p53-controlled DNA damage responses, commenting also on recent controversially discussed findings.

Dr Daniel Speidel – Tumour Suppression

In this paper they describe a completely unexpected function of a protein that many cancers produce in abnormally high levels. Although previously described as cancer-promoting they report that depending on the exact circumstances the same protein can also enhance tumour suppression.

Dr Daniel Speidel – Mutations in SIPA1L3

This paper reports mutations in a poorly characterised gene to be responsible for congenital eye disease (blindness) and clarifies their functional consequences. This paper reports that mutations in this gene are also associated with cancer.

Murdoch Children's Research Institute – Birth weight and childhood cancer

Evidence relating childhood cancer to high birth weight is derived primarily from registry and case–control studies. We aimed to investigate this association, exploring the potential modifying roles of age at diagnosis and maternal anthropometrics, using prospectively collected data from the International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium.

Dr Daniel Speidel - how RUNX1 contributes to the success of radiation and chemotherapy

We report a novel function of one of the most prominent leukaemia-associated genes. Our findings show how RUNX1 contributes to the success of radiation and chemotherapy and explain why most leukaemia patients with RUNX1-mutations are resistant to chemotherapy. Thereby, our results provide the basis to overcome therapy resistance in leukaemia.

23. Dr Rosemary Sutton, Dr Toby Trahair - identifying high-risk paediatric acute lymphoblastic leukaemia relapse

Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell).  Leukaemia may affect red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. ALL is the most common cancer found in children and usually gets worse quickly if it is not treated. On identification and to prevent relapse, high risk paediatric acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is treated very intensively. However, most patients who eventually relapse have standard or medium risk ALL with low minimal residual disease (MRD) levels which make it difficult to identify those patients most likely to relapse. This study aimed to identify those factors which will help predict  high risk paediatric acute lymphoblastic leukaemia relapse(ALL). The researchers created a predictive model based on a risk score (RS) for deletions, MRD and National Cancer Institute risk, extending from an RS of 0 (RS0) for patients with no favourable factors to RS2+ for patients with 2 or 3 high risk factors. The researchers conclude that this risk score (RS) may enable better early therapeutic stratification and thus improve cure rates for childhood ALL.  The predictive model is flexible, so that additional specific or rare risk factors can be added to improve the score in future.  The researchers conclude that the incorporation of other risk factors and/or use of the risk score (RS) system will enable better identification of newly diagnosed ALL patients who may have therapy reduced, and of those high-risk patients in need of early intensification of therapy to prevent relapse.

24. Dr Glenn Guerra - Salvage Surgery for Locoregional Failure in Anal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Anal squamous carcinoma is a rare cancer with a high cure rate, making the research into the treatment of locorregional failure of surgical relapse difficult to assess. These surgical procedures are followed in the event that primary treatment (typically chemotherapy) fails. The purpose of this study was to examine factors related to local surgical treatment failure and determine the outcomes of patients undergoing local salvage resection.  The studied show how the influence of patient, tumor, and treatment-related factors have on the outcomes of locoregional failure, overall survival, and disease-free survival. Researchers concluded that advanced T stage is an independent predictor of local failure in anal squamous carcinoma. Most patients can be salvaged, with a positive resection margin being a strong predictor of further relapse and poor outcome.

25. Professor John Rasko, Dr Amy Marshall, Dr Chuck Bailey - Impact of Genetic Alterations on Endometrial Cancer

Research conducted by Professor John Rasko, Dr Amy Marshall, Dr Chuck Bailey at the Gene & Stem Cell Therapy Program, Centenary Institute, Sydney has led to new insights into the effect of genetic alterations and the impact on patients suffering from endometrial cancer. The endometrium is the lining of the uterus or womb. Also known as uterine cancer, endometrial cancer is the most common gynaecological cancer with an estimated 2963 new cases diagnosed in 2018 and is the 5th most commonly diagnosed cancer among females in Australia in 2017. In their paper, "CTCF genetic alterations in endometrial carcinoma are pro-tmorigenic” published in March 2017 in Oncogene, the researchers outlined their findings. In brief their finding indicated that genetic alterations in a specific gene (the tumour suppressor gene CTCF) occur in one-fifth of women with endometrial cancers. Their data proves that loss of activity of this essential genome organising protein is pro-tumourigenic (i.e. can lead to the production of tumours) and therefore impacts negatively on patient survival. This finding enables the researchers to explore the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways that are impacted upon CTCF loss to discover any potential therapeutic avenues in endometrial cancer. 

Together we are finding the answers. We won't fail. Thank you.

Find out how TDC is tackling cancer

"Funding from organisations like Tour de Cure is essential. It's particularly difficult to receive grants in the academic environment. Like many researchers and students, I'm very grateful for the tireless work it takes to raise such funds. Thank you!"

Dr Christopher Chan, Senior Scientist and TDC funding recipient

Help us to fund innovation and excellence

With your support, we can help bring new preventions and cures for cancer closer to reality. Please donate today.