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Funds pave way for Cancer drug.

The following article by Emma Shaw is reproduced with permission of the Illawarra Mercury

Funds pave way for cancer drug

FUNDS raised by Illawarra Cancer Carers have been crucial in developing a ground-breaking new treatment at the University of Wollongong.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide, affecting just under one million people.  It has one of the highest mortality rates among cancers, with more than half of affected patients dying.

Drugs used to treat the cancer have side-effects such as neuropathic pain, vein inflammation and nausea, becoming so severe that many patients discontinue treatment and the cancer progresses.

But now researchers collaborating in the University

of Wollongong’s (UOW) School of Chemistry and the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute have developed Fluorodex, a new drug with fewer side-effects.  Illawarra Cancer Carers (ICC), a charity offering support and services to cancer patients, has donated funds since the project began in 2003, raising more than $400,000.

Project leader Professor Philip Clingan said the ICC’s support had been invaluable.

“We wouldn’t be here without their help,” he said.

Professor Clingan hopes to start human Fluorodex trials in 2011 and expects it to offer a more effective, less toxic treatment.

UOW commercialisation manager Dr Gavin Dixon, said if trials were successful, the drug would be marketed and manufactured.

ICC president, Sue Maidman, said volunteers had organised several fundraising ventures, including Banquet at the Beach, which raised $175,000 in June.

“But we couldn’t do it without businesses and sponsors in the area,” she said.


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