Nuclear medicine offers new hope

There’s now new hope for treating many types of tumours where chemotherapy has been ineffective. Nuclear medicine, which uses radioactive tracers to help clinicians better identify cancer tumours and monitor the spread of cancer, could be key.

Recent trials into nuclear medicine techniques show they can sometimes drastically reduce the size of particular types of tumours when chemotherapy has been ineffective.

It’s already showing real promise for treating a diverse group of uncommon and complex cancer tumours, known as neuroendocrine tumours (NET). These most commonly arise in the pancreas, gastrointestinal tract and lungs.

Dr Grace Kong is a Nuclear Medicine Physician at Peter Mac, who has been working to learn more about this complex disease so as to ultimately improve survival rates for NET patients.

Her research is focused on ways that nuclear medicine techniques can help diagnose NETs and provide better treatment options.

Her early research has had exciting results.

A number of patients who were treated with a form of nuclear medicine that specifically targets neuroendocrine tumour cells, had a dramatic reduction in the tumour observed.

As one of the Peter Mac clinician researchers awarded the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation Discovery Partner Fellowships for 2019, Dr Kong is excited to be able to take her research further.

“Being a Foundation Discovery Partner Fellow means receiving support to allow dedicated research time. It is fundamental to enable the performance of high-quality projects and increase scope of research, with the goals to improve cancer diagnosis, treatment and outcomes, particularly for patients with Neuroendocrine Tumours.”

Like many people, Dr Kong is balancing work and family commitments.

“As a mid-career female professional returning to near full-time clinical workforce and being committed to performing high quality research to advance Nuclear Medicine in cancer management, it is not easy to balance work and family challenges.”

It’s why having the support of the Foundation Discovery Partner Fellowship has meant so much.

Dr Kong knows none of this would be possible without the support of our donors: “I am very grateful to Peter Mac donors for their support.”

Investigating how nuclear medicine can improve cancer treatments is one of many ways our researchers are working hard to find new ways to save lives.

MORE RESEARCH IS THE KEY

By supporting Peter Mac you make incredible research, such as Dr Kong’s, possible. If Dr Kong succeeds in discovering new treatments for when chemotherapy is ineffective, it’s going to help save more lives.

 

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