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Melanie Swan Memorial Translational Centre

The Melanie Swan Memorial Translational Centre at the University of Canberra is leading the way in research into cancer treatment in the ACT. Professor Sudha Rao and her team are working to treat the occurrence and spread of metastatic cancer – and they are on the cusp of a major breakthrough.

Professor Sudha Rao and her team are revolutionising cancer treatments by rethinking the way cancer is detected, tracked and treated.

Metastatic cancer is an aggressive, deadly secondary stage cancer that spreads throughout the body. Currently, there is no cure. There are minimal treatment options for metastatic cancers such as melanoma, brain, lung, pancreatic, kidney and ovarian cancers. Professor Rao’s team are increasing the options and survival chances for people with metastatic cancer.

How is this being achieved?

Using specialised lab equipment and liquid biopsies taken from blood samples, the team have developed non-invasive ways to detect metastatic cancer cells before they spread throughout the body.  Their treatments also reprogram cancer cells using novel drugs that target the metastatic disease based on an individual’s diagnosis.

This personalised approach to cancer treatment is a much-needed change from the current practice  of trial and error. Early detection will grant patients more time.

The laboratories ability to test treatments on the cancer cells will allow oncologists to determine which treatments will be most effective for individual patients.

The Melanie Swan Memorial Translational Centre is the only lab in the Asia-Pacific region to have this cutting-edge technology and equipment.

The research and treatment breakthroughs at the University of Canberra will help change the way the world approaches cancer treatments.

To continue this important work, the research requires further funding from donors, organisations and the community.