Telethon Kids Institute has partnered with WA based Sock it to Sarcoma! to establish WA’s first ever research team to fight Sarcoma in kids (a cancerous tumour that occurs in the bones and soft tissues such as fat and muscle).
View the Today Tonight story on this project here.
Researchers have developed a novel approach to fighting this cancer, using the body’s immune system to recognise and destroy the cancer cells. To date, Sarcoma has been resistant to this type of treatment, but these new localised therapies being developed are making the sarcoma tumour more sensitive and open to allow the immunotherapy to kill the cancer.
On the Telethon Kids side, a new expert in the field, Prof Willem Lesterhuis, has been appointed to run the team. Originally from the Netherlands, he moved to WA as he feels this is the best place for the collaboration, expertise and the ‘thinking outside of the box’ needed to tackle Sarcoma research and make a real difference. The team has also recruited cancer immunology researcher Dr Rachael Zemek to develop these new therapies. The team is under the leadership of Prof Terry Johns, Head of the Telethon Kids Cancer Centre.
So far Sock it to Sarcoma! has raise over $1million to fund sarcoma research here in WA. This has been made possible under the leadership of Director Mandy Basson.