Grant aids search for a can­cer cure

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Front Page -

COMO can­cer re­searcher Britt Clyn­ick is on a mission to dis­cover more about a can­cer that causes about 5 per cent of can­cer deaths in Australia.

A can­cer that has been de­tected in the body, but whose point of ori­gin re­mains un­known, is called a Car­ci­noma of Un­known Pri­mary (CUP).

Ms Clyn­ick will be study­ing this can­cer in de­tail, thanks to a $36,000 grant from the Can­cer Coun­cil of WA.

The 24-year-old PhD stu­dent said she be­came in­ter­ested in can­cer re­search af­ter her grand­mother died of liver can­cer.

“She was only 65 years old ... way too young,” she said.

“Very lit­tle is known about [CUP] and it is treated with broad spec­trum chemo­ther­apy which has vari­able suc­cess,” she said.

Ms Clyn­ick is now in the sec­ond year of her PhD.

Her re­search fo­cus es on the tu­mour pro­file of this can­cer and the ge­netic makeup of suf­fer­ers.

“I will be start­ing a ret­ro­spec­tive study of past pa­tients, get­ting the tis­sues and hav­ing

David Baylis

Pic­ture: a hav­ing a look to see what parts of the molec­u­lar sig­na­ture are treat­able,” she said.

“I hope by the end of this in­ves­ti­ga­tion to be able to re­cruit peo­ple for a study.”

The money Ms Clyn­ick re­ceived from the Can­cer Coun­cil al­lows her to de­vote all of her time to CUP re­search.

The grant is called the PhD Top Up schol­ar­ship and is part of $3.8 mil­lion al­lo­cated by the char­ity to fund re­search projects across the State.

“Be­ing able to iden­tify molec­u­lar signatures that have the po­ten­tial to be treat­able would have a huge, pos­i­tive im­pact on pa­tients and my aim is to at the very least be able to give them a bet­ter prog­no­sis,” she said.

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Britt Clyn­ick.

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