Monash Institute of Medical Research's Dr Elizabeth Williams
and her team are investigating why Breast cancer commonly spreads to lymph nodes. The removal of lymph nodes as part of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment may cause lymphoedema, a condition where a part of the body (the arm for breast cancer survivors) becomes swollen and painful. They are working towards developing better predictive tools to facilitate early intervention and ways to cure lymphoedema.
Prince Henry’s Medical Research Institute's Professor Evan Simpson
and Dr Kirsty Brown
are leading an investigation into obesity and breast cancer risk
- by providing detailed evidence that the association of obesity with increased breast cancer risk is mediated via the adipokines leptin and adiponectin through the LKB-1/AMP kinase pathway.
Professor Simpson is a world leader in the field of oestrogen biosynthesis. His research has led to the development of drugs for breast cancer therapy which specifically inhibit aromatase expression in the breast but spare other sites where it serves a critical role, such as in the bone, brain and blood vessels.
The Women's Health Research team
at the Alfred Hospital is currently leading a study to gain information about issues influencing the quality of life that women experience after they have been treated for breast cancer. The study, called "Bupa Health Foundation Health and Wellbeing after Breast Cancer Study
" is being co-run by Monash Universities Professor Robin Bell
and Professor Susan Davis
, and has found that of women who felt there was a direct cause of their cancer, more than half mistakenly believed it was due to stress.
The study is investigating these issues by questionnaire and the results will be used to lead to an improvement in the wellbeing of women after breast cancer treatment.
Between June 2004 and December 2006 every Victorian woman with a first diagnosis of breast cancer within the previous 12 month period was eligible to take part. The strength of the study is that it is large and community based, whereas previous studies are of much smaller numbers and restricted to women attending clinics for treatment.
Image sourced by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute