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Lung Cancer Awareness Month at the Woolcock Centre for Lung Cancer Research

Lung Cancer Awareness Month at the Woolcock Centre for Lung Cancer Research

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Did you know that almost 9,000 Australians die from lung cancer every year?

Despite these alarming statistics, lung cancer carries a stigma that makes it a taboo subject. This is likely to be due to its links to smoking, even though studies have shown that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 10 men with lung cancer have no history of smoking.

The recently-established Centre for Lung Cancer Research at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research is a modern, purpose-built research facility which is dedicated to understanding how lung cancer develops and how to treat it more effectively with new therapies, diagnostic tests and medical devices for patients. The Centre has several new projects underway.  

  • Understanding how gut and lung microbiomes are altered in lung cancer and identifying the optimal microbiome profiles that naturally increase the efficacy of cancer therapy.  This will lead to the development of new interventions such as medical probiotics or inhalers to boost therapy responsiveness for all lung cancer patients.
  • Lung tumours harbour great variability at the molecular level which affects patient prognosis and response to therapy. New molecular biomarkers which help determine the most suitable and effective therapies for individual patients are being investigated.
  • Methods are being developed to analyse patient tumour biopsies grown in 3D-cultures which can be used to test individualised cancer therapies for each patient in real-time. 

The Centre is also home to the Lung Cancer Research Network, a team of world-class researchers from over 20 hospitals, research centres, universities and organisations across the country who are united in the goal to better understand, treat and prevent this killer disease. The specialists come together to share data and launch large multidisciplinary projects to rapidly progress avenues of research.

With lung cancer today being one of the most common life-threatening cancers in both men and women, researchers at the Centre for Lung Cancer Research at the Woolcock are striving towards finding a cure for this, as yet, incurable disease.

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