Cancer cure will need true Britt
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.”
Britt Clynick is looking to beat a common but relatively little-known cancer.