Some of North America’s leading cancer researchers are in Newcastle this week for a major conference aimed at improving targeted approaches to cancer treatment.
The multi-disciplinary conference has attracted renowned cancer specialists from Chicago, Texas and Canada, as well as leading experts from Australia, including several from Newcastle.
Conference convenor Professor Stephen Ackland says the three day event includes a free public lecture at Newcastle City Hall this evening looking at the future of more personalised cancer treatments.
“That’s where we think the future is,” he said.
“We’re in an era now where we recognise every cancer is unique.
“We have to work out what’s unique about the cancer, what’s actually driving it and how to turn off its petrol supply effectively, so it can’t grow or die.
Professor Ackland says the conference is also aiming to improve communication between scientists and clinicians and develop therapies that affect the disease more and the patient less.
He says the conference will look at the full spectrum of cancer research.
“Some of the laboratory basic science, things that will be discussed at the meeting are clearly a long way off and many might fall over before they get to the clinic,” he said.
“But at the same time, the results of some recent clinical trials are here and we’ll be discussing how we might go about implementing the results of those clinical trials, in the clinical health system.”