Can­cer cure will need true Britt

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health - By EMILY BAKER

BRITT Clyn­ick is work­ing to­wards find­ing a cure for one of the top 10 most com­mon can­cers in the world.

The 24-year-old QEII Med­i­cal Cen­tre re­searcher is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the tu­mour pro­file of CUP or Car­ci­noma of Un­known Pri­mary to help find a more tar­geted treat­ment and even­tu­ally a cure for the dis­ease, af­ter re­ceiv­ing a grant from Can­cer Coun­cil WA last month.

How­ever, while CUP is the sixth most com­mon can­cer caus­ing death in Australia, Ms Clyn­ick said it was rel­a­tively un­known to most peo­ple.

“CUP or Car­ci­noma of Un­known Pri­mary is a sec­ondary metastatic can­cer whereby upon any di­ag­nos­tic tests that were done, the doc­tors were un­able to work out what the pri­mary can­cer was,” Ms Clyn­ick said.

“This can be­come prob­lem­atic be­cause most tar­geted ther­a­pies th­ese days that work very well are very spe­cific, tar­get­ing the ex­act part where can­cer is com­ing from.

“Be­cause doc­tors are un­able to di­ag­nose the pri­mary can­cer in the pa­tients they are gen­er­ally hit with, broad spec­trum chemo­ther­apy and ra­di­a­tion ther­apy is not very ef­fec­tive and the pa­tients do not have a very long sur­vival rate.”

Ms Clyn­ick said while the project, now un­der­way, may not pro­duce a treat­ment or cure in her life­time, it would pro­vide im­por­tant build­ing blocks for the fu­ture.

“I don’t be­lieve that iden­ti­fy­ing the pri­mary can­cer will be very nec­es­sary to th­ese pa­tients.

“So in­stead we are se­quenc­ing and look­ing at the genes in th­ese CUPs to see if there are any durable tar­gets within that we can specif­i­cally tar­get.

“Hope­fully with this re­search we can not only find a lit­tle bit more out about this fairly un­known can­cer but also in the long term hope to pro­vide bet­ter treat­ment fa­cil­i­ties and in­crease pa­tients’ sur­vival.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d436362

Britt Clyn­ick is look­ing to beat a com­mon but rel­a­tively lit­tle-known can­cer.

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