Riding For My Research
When Flinders University cancer researcher Dr Ashley Hopkins jumped on his bike to join the 2019 SA Discovery Tour, he was overwhelmed by the support those riding alongside him gave to his research.
“The Tour de Cure family is amazing,” Dr Hopkins says.
“As a researcher that spends a lot of time at my computer, it was a humbling experience to see the dedication of the broader community towards cancer research and improving the lives of those with the disease.”
Dr Hopkins is using funds raised during the 2019 ride to carry out Machine Learning – a form of artificial intelligence – to help predict treatment outcomes from anticancer drugs used in patients with advanced or metastatic cancers.
It’s one of the world’s first research projects to analyse the CancerLinQ Database – a collection of information from over 1.7 million cancer patients – and it aims to enable patients and clinicians to make better decisions regarding commencing and continuing anticancer medicines used in the treatment of advanced lung and breast cancer.
“The therapeutic benefits and adverse effects of medicines can vary greatly between patients,”
“Modelling this big data is an opportunity to provide more realistic expectations of the benefits and harms from therapy and help alleviate stress associated with uncertainty, while also improving shared decision-making and empowering patients and clinicians to select the most appropriate medicine.”
Dr Hopkins is currently writing research papers on findings from this Tour de Cure funded research, which used this data to look at the effectiveness of the drug atezolizumab in patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma who use antacid medicines at the same time.
His work is also looking at personalised predictions of treatment outcomes in patients with advanced breast cancer according to their body mass index (BMI).
“This research is among the most detailed on the links between antacids and poor responses to immunotherapies, as well as exploring an obesity paradox between early and advanced breast cancer,” Dr Hopkins says.
Just a casual rider two years ago, the Tour de Cure experience has transformed Dr Hopkins into a keen cyclist who now regularly leads training rides, and he’s now looking forward to joining Tour de Cure once again on the SA Discovery Tour from 9-11 April.
Targeted Treatments for Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Thanks to generous funding from Tour de Cure, riders and supporters in 2019, an international research project is hoping to uncover the ‘magic bullet’ for treating Triple Negative Breast Cancer – one of the most aggressive and fatal forms of breast cancer.
32 new health and medical research projects… thanks to you!
At a time when the focus on health and medical research has never been greater, 32 exciting new projects across the Flinders medical precinct have received funding in Flinders Foundation’s annual Health Seed Grant Round.
Rachel’s dream is to improve therapies to treat, and ultimately cure, multiple myeloma.
“Multiple myeloma is incurable, that’s something we’d obviously like to change.”
Protein discovery paves way for new multiple myeloma treatments
Multiple myeloma patients with the poorest prognosis are set to benefit from promising new research
Promising blood test to detect head and neck cancer
Researchers at Flinders University hope their promising blood test model could help to diagnose a common form of head and neck cancer, in the same way diagnostic tests are available for other cancer types.
Heart Pillows for Heart Patients – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health –
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients undergoing heart surgery at Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) are being gifted ‘heart pillows’
Introducing Brett Stringer – Brain Cancer Research Fellowship
Dr Brett Stringer has been appointed to a new three-year Brain Cancer Research Fellowship at Flinders University, funded by Flinders Foundation.
Thyroid research under the microscope
Flinders University medical student Lauren Rask-Nielsen has received a research scholarship to take a closer look at the diagnosis of thyroid nodules which can, in some instances, be cancerous.
Flinders’ COVID-19 patients key to beating virus
As the world waits with bated breath for a vaccine to fight COVID-19, 30 former COVID-19 positive patients have gifted their blood to Flinders researchers in a bid to find ‘super-antibodies’ to use as a weapon to beat the virus.
Help for critically ill patients
Critically ill patients and those recovering from major surgeries have been helped in their recovery with the arrival of new chairs and stand aids to get them out of bed sooner.