Un­lock­ing cell se­crets

Joondalup Times - - NEWS -

CANCER cells in the blood of melanoma pa­tients could con­tain in­for­ma­tion to guide treatment and avoid biop­sies, ac­cord­ing to a cancer re­searcher in Joon­dalup.

Elin Gray, a post­doc­toral re­search fel­low in the school of med­i­cal and health sciences at ECU Joon­dalup, is lead­ing a $43,000 Cancer Coun­cil WA col­lab­o­ra­tive re­search grant.

The re­search in­ves­ti­gates how cancer cells com­mu­ni­cate with other cells by ex­am­in­ing the blood of peo­ple with melanoma, which is the most ag­gres­sive type of skin cancer.

Dr Gray is work­ing with doc­tors Katie Mee­han at UWA, Ja­son White­man from Telethon Kids In­sti­tute and Tarek Me­ni­awy at Sir Charles Gaird­ner Hospi­tal.

“As a team, we want to max­imise the suc­cess rate of melanoma treatment by un­der­stand­ing the bi­ol­ogy of how the cancer cells and the im­mune sys­tem com­mu­ni­cate,” she said.

“If we can find more in­for­ma­tion in the blood of pa­tients, it could be use­ful in di­ag­nos­ing the dis­ease or guid­ing treatment for melanoma pa­tients.

“This could re­duce the need for a more in­va­sive biopsy pro­ce­dure.”

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d468114

Re­searcher Elin Gray.

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