Quiet Courage

Quiet Courage

 Your cancer research contributions at work

Quiet Courage: I created this digital story for my mother after she was diagnosed and treated for lymphoma she fought with so much courage that I wanted to honour her with this story. She eventually lost the battle and died in September, 2007. I made this when she was alive and fighting but the story still stands in her memory as a testimony to her strength and her dignity.

This moving video was put together by Helen Simondson for her mother who was being treated for Lymphoma. Research Through funding provided by Cancer Council Victoria, raised by Research Awards at events like Tuxedo Junction, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre was able to support a research team and a PhD student to test the hypothesis that in fast growing solid tumours, it is possible to reduce blood vessel outgrowth and slow tumour development by blocking the tumour’s response to hypoxia (reduced oxygen levels). This would increase the functionality of the blood vessels inside the tumour, allowing us to exploit the improved vessel function.

The hypothesis proved true, which means that we can deliver elevated amounts of standard chemotherapeutic drugs into a tumour and achieve stronger tumour regression. This research was only made possible because of Cancer Council funding, without which, would have made this a great idea with no proof that it works – it is the funding that makes testing these hypotheses possible.

Our PhD student, Christina Wong, was the main researcher on this study, and finished her PhD with this fantastic breakthrough. She is now applying for a post-doctoral fellowship to continue this work and translate it to patient benefit, by developing a medication that can be tested through clinical trials. This team was supported by Research Awards from Tuxedo Junction 2010 and 2011.