A Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) research team believes it could be on the cusp of producing a cancer therapeutic vaccine within the next four to five years.
Around 100 people undergo chemotherapy treatment at the RBWH every day. RBWH medical and clinical researchers conduct research on most types of cancers including, brain cancer, blood cancers such as leukemia, skin cancers and melanoma, breast cancer, lung cancer, and organ cancers. Read on to find out about one of the many cancer projects underway at the RBWH – a prostate cancer therapeutic vaccine.
Prostate Cancer Therapeutic Vaccine
The therapeutic vaccine, which will be tailored to individual patients and use immunotherapy to target persisting prostate cancer cells following prostatectomy, will potentially reduce the need for radiation and hormone therapy.
“It’s a tragic statistic that more men die of prostate cancer, than women die from breast cancer,” said RBWH Foundation CEO Simone Garske.
“Government funding is not available for this research so it is vital we do everything we can to protect our fathers, husbands, brothers and friends.”
RBWH Foundation has launched a major fundraising campaign for the research, ‘Donate for Prostate’, to raise vital funds required to support this latest phase of the research.
Queensland’s 2020 Senior Australian of the Year, Peter Dornan, is a prostate cancer survivor. Diagnosed at 52, Peter says the diagnosis impacted every aspect of this life.
“A non-invasive immunotherapy vaccine would be absolutely remarkable for prostate cancer patients. It would mean not having to go through the side effects caused by radiation and other treatments.”
“Prostate cancer is common. One in seven men will be diagnosed, so someone you know or someone in your family may get it.”
Prostate cancer statistics:
- One in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer by the age of 85.
- While it is more common in older men, younger men also get prostate cancer with 37% of?cases diagnosed in men under 65.
- More men die of prostate cancer than women die of breast cancer.
- 30% of patients who undergo radical prostatectomy, the commonest form of treatment for clinically localised disease, have secondary cancer diagnosed subsequently.
Dr. Matthew Roberts, Urologist and Researcher at the RBWH says the vaccine could be developed within five years if appropriate funding is secured.
“Immunotherapy for prostate cancer research aims to cure what is currently an incurable cancer and provide a non-invasive treatment with minimal side effects for patients.” Dr. Roberts says.
“It focuses on using the body’s own natural immune defenses to fight the condition. What we have developed in the lab is very promising and we now need to test the patient population.”
“Previous therapeutic vaccine studies have shown very minimal side effects, so we are really excited about the prospect of this research because the therapeutic vaccine has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life for patients and help them live longer.
“We may even be able to extend this therapy to men in other advanced stages of prostate cancer, such as after initial radiotherapy, which is quite difficult to treat.”
“We need to raise $500,000 to support the ongoing research and studies of this vaccine with the hope to have it developed in five years.”
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australia, and it is estimated almost 100,000 men are living with the cancer at any one time.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australia and it is estimated almost 100,000 men are living with the cancer at any one time. Donate to support this vital research today.