The Ryan Hodges Scholarship in Precision Dosing

Ryan Hodges and Jason van Leuven in October 2021

The Ryan Hodges Scholarship in Precision Dosing has been established in memory of Ryan, who passed away in October 2021.

Ryan dedicated much of his free time to raising funds for research into precision dosing of targeted cancer therapies. You can read more about Ryan's story and support the Ryan Hodges fund here.

The inaugural recipient of the Ryan Hodges Scholarship in Precision Dosing, Jason van Leuven, says Ryan continues to inspire him every day in his work.

“Ryan was a really nice guy who had a zest for life and his story is very touching,” says Jason.

“I’m very grateful to Ryan and Drakes Supermarkets for making this scholarship possible.”

Targeted cancer therapies attack specific cancer cells, unlike more traditional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, which target all cells in the body – including healthy cells.

However, these targeted therapies are still prescribed as a ‘one-size fits-all’ dose.

The SA Precision Dosing Program ensures anti-cancer treatment drugs are given at the optimum dose for the individual patient.

“Every person is unique, so it’s not surprising we all respond to medicines differently,” says Jason.

“In the SA Precision Dosing Program, we measure the level of the drug in the blood and adjust the dose of the drug until it reaches its optimum level.

“Personalising the dose can lead to an increase in survival and a better quality of life. That’s a massive difference in the life of someone living with late-stage cancer.”

Patients with stage 4 lung cancer, which has spread through the body, rarely survive five years after diagnosis.

Through access to various targeted therapy treatments, drug trials and the SA Precision Dosing Program, as well as a fiercely determined mindset, Ryan was able to create precious memories with his young family for seven years post-diagnosis.

Jason wants to help give people with late-stage cancer more time to spend with their loved ones and improve their quality of life by providing personalised dosing for more cancer drugs.

“I am very fortunate and grateful to receive this scholarship. It is an honour to be given the opportunity to work with Dr Madelé van Dyk, who is a leader in the personalised dosing field.”

Jason will work in Dr Madelé van Dyk’s precision dosing research team, analysing the benefits of personalised dosing compared with standard dosing in routine cancer care. He will have a particular focus on advanced cancers.

Jason completed his honours in neuroscience, but the loss of several family members to cancer inspired him to change fields.

“Like many people, unfortunately, I have a close relationship with cancer. That’s my motivation to do this work, but more importantly this research is useful now,” said Jason.

“People go into research, and they want to cure cancer or find the miracle drug for the future, but what about people who need help now?

“I want to do what I can now to give people living with cancer, and their families, more time and a better quality of life. We can do this by using existing therapies more safely and effectively.

Flinders Foundation has established the Ryan Hodges Fund, to continue Ryan’s dedication to raising funds for precision dosing research.

You can donate to the Ryan Hodges Fund here.

You can support The Ryan Hodges Fund by making a donation here Donate Now

More News