CCNSW June 2014 Research Report Newsletter Issue 26
Research ReportIssue 26 • June 2014
Cancer Risk Factors
2 Reducing the
number of tobacco
retailers is a key step
FEATURED: Cancer Risk Factors
3 Bringing Aboriginal
women into the
4 Improving support
for lung cancer
4 Register to join
one of our
Cancer Council 13 11 20
If you want to know more about Cancer Council visit cancercouncil.com.au.
Your risk of liver cancer
increases if you are
Cancer Council funds key research
to identify better ways to prevent
and treat it
New research, funded by Cancer Council NSW, is looking
into why overweight Australians are more likely to get liver
cancer and what treatments could help stem tumour growth.
Recent data shows that liver cancer rates have risen by
152% in the past two decades, while over a similar time
period obesity rates have increased by 41%.
As obesity and liver cancer figures continue to increase, researchers funded by Cancer Council NSW are investigating
why a reduced level of the hormone, adiponectin, may be linked to tumour changes in the liver.
Research led by Dr Lionel Hebbard is looking into the role of hormones and sugars in the
development and progression of liver cancer, and the results will be key to identifying new and better
ways to prevent and treat liver cancer.
“Our team is delighted to be awarded this grant from Cancer Council NSW,” said Dr Lionel Hebbard
from the University of Sydney, “it will help us investigate why the hormone adiponectin makes liver
cancer grow significantly larger, and how to develop novel ways to treat it.”
This ground-breaking research is one of 16 research projects to be awarded a prestigious grant from
Cancer Council NSW, the largest non-government cancer research funder in Australia. This year, Cancer
Council NSW has committed more than $5.4m in new funding to these cancer research projects.
Among the other 15 cancer research projects there are studies to improve outcomes for brain cancer patients; to
make radiotherapy more effective; to identify the causes of DNA changes during cancer; and to create a new blood
test for cancer.
“We are funding some of the best cancer researchers in Australia, many of whom are globally renowned for their
work,” said Dr Libby Topp, Research Strategy Manager, Cancer Council NSW. “The results of these projects could
help prevent cancers by identifying cancerous gene faults early and lead to more effective treatments for brain, liver
and breast cancer.”
The research projects will run for the next three years and will involve research teams from across Australia and
Overweight Australians are more likely to get liver cancer
Dr Lionel Hebbard
Cancer Council 13 11 20
There are eight times more
tobacco retailers than
In NSW there are eight times as many tobacco retailers as post offices and
five times as many as pharmacies, according to a Cancer Council NSW audit
— and one in four of them is breaking the law.
Research shows that the greater the availability of tobacco the more people
smoke. Where there are many tobacco retailers nearby, children have higher
smoking rates and people trying to quit find it more difficult.
Smoking is the leading cause of death and disease in Australia and half of
long-term smokers will die from their habit. Yet places selling tobacco are
The Cancer Council NSW retailers audit has given campaigners the vital
ammunition they need to make a case for strengthening the regulations, and
reducing the availability of cigarettes in the community. As a result of this
advocacy the Minister of Health has set up a taskforce to investigate.
Although the campaign isn’t over, this research has already influenced policy
Are you a cancer patient, survivor, carer, or a close family member
of someone with cancer? Your experiences and insight could help
improve cancer research, and we’re providing free training to equip
you for this important role.
If you have a close personal connection with cancer, and would like to
make a difference to cancer research, we would love you to join us.
Our researchers need to have community members involved
because we know that this improves the quality of the research,
and helps ensure that it meets the needs of the community. With a huge increase in demand last year, the need for trained
survivors and carers willing to work directly with researchers has never been higher.
Volunteers also help to choose which research projects Cancer Council NSW funds, as we have a panel of survivors and
carers that help ensure that the research we fund will meet the needs of the cancer community.
It is important to Cancer Council NSW that our community has a voice in cancer research and in cancer research funding
decisions, and so we’re providing a free training course on the 5th
of September in Sydney. This will impart the skills
and knowledge needed to work directly with researchers, and to help us to make our funding decisions. We offer free
transport and accommodation for those coming from out of town.
If you’re interested, we would love to hear from you. Contact Sam Thorp on 9334 1445 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
You can make a difference
to cancer research
Tobacco retailing is the weak link in current tobacco
We offer free training to help the community
have a voice in cancer research
In NSW there are eight times as many tobacco
retailers as post offices!
We want you to help us choose our research projects
Cancer Council NSW Research Report Issue 26 • June 2014
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Aboriginal women, and
earlier studies have shown that they have a 30% higher death rate than the
rest of the population.
New research by Cancer Council NSW has found that:
• Aboriginal breast cancer patients tend to be younger and have a more
advanced stage of cancer when diagnosed,
• Aboriginal women are less likely than non-Aboriginal women to receive
surgical treatment upon diagnosis,
• They may be reluctant to undergo cancer treatments. This is due to fear
and confusion about the health system, as well as practical barriers such
as lack of transport and accommodation.
With this greater understanding of why Aboriginal women have a higher
death rate from breast cancer, we can start to advocate for change.
To help close the gap we need to increase the number of Aboriginal women who have surgery for their breast cancer. To
achieve this we not only have to improve their understanding of the health system, but also ensure they have better access to
transport and accommodation, and offer them more support.
A quarter of all cancer cases diagnosed in
Aboriginal women are breast cancer
Aboriginal women have a
30% higher death rate
from breast cancer
Now that we have reached our initial participants target, we are
reviewing the progress of the CLEAR study that was established to
find the answers to what really causes cancer.
At present we are focussing on providing ‘outcomes’ from our
valuable data, and will give consideration later to whether we need to continue recruiting.
We will let you know if further participants are needed. In the meantime, if you would like to help cancer research by
taking part in a study, please complete and send in the form on the back page. Or you could call 9334 1398 to request a
questionnaire, or, even better, complete the short questionnaire online at cancercouncil.com.au/joinastudy.
CLEAR Study data (questionnaire data and blood samples) are now available to the cancer research community (subject to
appropriate scientific and ethical approval). See clearstudy.org.au/info-for-researchers/ for further information.
CLEAR Study Update
Thank you to the 10,723 people who have
joined the CLEAR Study.
We need to help Aboriginal women understand
the help they can get from the health system
For more information, visit clearstudy.org.au or email email@example.com
For more information, visit: cancercouncil.com.au
to support lung
A trial to compare different
approaches to supporting the
needs of patients with lung cancer
Lung cancer is the fifth most common cancer in
Australia. It is difficult to treat, as patients face
physical and psychological issues, including high
rates of anxiety and depression.
Our ongoing research has looked at how to
support patients during and following a lung
In order to improve the services that Cancer
Council NSW and other organisations provide,
the trial will determine whether written, telephone or online support is most helpful.
During 2014 a total of 600 lung cancer patients will be offered support either by means of Cancer Council’s Understanding Lung
Cancer booklet, or through Cancer Council Helpline phone support, or online support using email or messaging.
After six months, they will be assessed for both their psychological wellbeing and their skill in managing their own health.
Lung cancer patients need support to help them confront physical and
psychological issues such as anxiety and depression
Every year, on 31 May, World Health Organization and partners mark
World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use
and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.
Tobacco kills nearly six million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are
non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. For World No Tobacco Day
2014, WHO called on countries to raise taxes on tobacco.
Raise taxes on tobacco to reduce consumption
join a research
Cancer Council and other academic bodies conduct
research studies to do with cancer. These studies may
be questionnaire based surveys, focus groups and
interviews or other types of research. Study participants
will not necessarily be cancer patients.
Register your interest to be included on our database.
Your story or the story of someone you know will help us
find the answers.
Yes, include me on the database. (If yes, we will
write to ask you some additional questions relating
to your health to allow us to match you to research
studies that suit you.)
Tick this box if you have been diagnosed with
cancer in the past 18 months. (If yes, you may be
eligible for the CLEAR Study and we will send you
Return completed form to:
Reply Paid 79819
Potts Point, NSW 1335
You can also register at cancercouncil.com.au/joinastudy
At Cancer Council we recognise the importance of your privacy and the safeguarding of your personal information. If you have concerns about the privacy of this information, you may provide it securely online at cancercouncil.com.au/joinastudy. Please be
assured that in collecting this information, it will be used for research purposes only, and will be handled in accordance with our Privacy Management Plan (www.cancercouncil.com.au) which addresses our compliance with all legislative requirements.