New grant gives hope to Australians living with rare cancer
Pancreatic and hepatobiliary surgeon, Dr Daniel Croagh has been awarded the Pancare Foundation-AGITG Cholangiocarcinoma Idea Generation Workshop Grant.
The $100,000 grant will go towards developing Dr Croagh’s comprehensive molecular profiling of advanced biliary cancer study. This study will potentially provide evidence to support the benefits of routine comprehensive genetic and molecular testing of biliary cancer patients to identify specific targets that may respond to current, emerging, and future therapies.
While Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is relatively rare, the number of patients presenting with the disease is increasing each year. The urgency to better characterise and treat CCA is increasing as the mortality rate is so high. Major clinical advances, compared to some other common cancer types, have not occurred – up to this point.
“This grant is wonderful, and I was very excited our project was selected by the AGITG – Pancare Foundation teams. I’m very grateful because as clinicians we’re often busy with clinical work and it can be difficult to extend some of this work into the research space. This grant will provide us with an opportunity to help facilitate the introduction of novel treatments in this area,” Dr Croagh said
“Cholangiocarcinoma is a difficult area to enrol people in trials because it can be hard to get adequate tissue for us to identify potential groups of patients who might benefit from specific therapies. So, the focus of our research is to see whether or not using minimally invasive biopsies, we can obtain enough tissue for comprehensive molecular profiling, which will in turn improve the diagnosis and treatment for people with GI cancer.”
Katrina Walsh, Research Manager at Pancare Foundation, says “We are committed to making a significant investment into upper GI cancer research. This includes the funding of projects like Daniel’s and other initiatives to achieve significant increases in survival rates for cholangiocarcinoma patients. Pancare Foundation congratulate Daniel on his success and look forward to the finding of his study.”
Doctor Lorraine Chantrill, Chair of the AGITG and GI Cancer Institute, says “Many congratulations to Dr Daniel Croagh and his team. New research into rare and neglected cancers is always a priority for the AGITG and is our raison d’etre. And this trial is going to be a game changer for those advanced biliary cancer patients who wouldn’t otherwise be cured.
Through this advanced molecular testing – Dr Croagh’s team is going to have the quick answers needed in the clinic to identify those patients who are going to benefit from receiving targeted drugs, in the quickest timeframe.”
Pancare Foundation along with AGITG/ GI Cancer Institute look forward to reporting on the progress of this important trial.
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