Research into new therapies for patients with hard-to-treat lymphomas will be undertaken by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute’s Dr Mary Ann Anderson with the support of a three-year Gandel Philanthropy-Snowdome Foundation Fellowship.

Some varieties of lymphoma have proven resistant to treatment with available therapies like chemotherapy and are currently incurable. This means that developing new therapies that work differently to chemotherapy is a high priority for researchers. This research will hopefully make hard-to-treat lymphomas treatable chronic diseases.

Dr Anderson’s research will further develop the work at the Institute, which has created a new class of anti-cancer drugs known as BH3 mimetics. This class of drug shows great potential for the treatment of patients who have hard-to-treat lymphoma and the related disease of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

At present, testing BH3 mimetic drugs is hampered by the inability to identify the specific types of lymphoma and specific types of patient who are likely to respond to this drug class. With the support of the Gandel Philanthropy-Snowdome Foundation Fellowship, Dr Anderson will work to coordinate patient entry into clinical trials of BH3 mimetics that can identify the tests that will show us the right patients to target for treatment.

“With this support I can use my skills as a clinician-researcher to undertake this vital research and work towards better outcomes for all patients who have lymphoma,” Dr Anderson said.

With the support of the Gandel Philanthropy-Snowdome Foundation Fellowship, Dr Anderson will work with researchers and doctors around Victoria to accelerate the identification of tests to help those patients with hard-to-treat lymphomas to access the right clinical trial for them.

“It is critically important to encourage and engage our brilliant researchers in undertaking direct translational research, so that they can develop better treatments and hopefully speed the process for having them more widely available,” said Vedran Drakulic, CEO of Gandel Philanthropy.

“Our Foundation’s mission is to fund the acceleration of new cutting edge treatments to give patients hope where they can’t normally find it. That’s our difference,” said Professor Miles Prince, co-founder of the Snowdome Foundation. “So we thank Gandel Philanthropy enormously for partnering with us to allow Dr Anderson to pursue her ground-breaking research and ‘make hope real’ for Australians suffering from hard-to-treat lymphomas.”

For more information contact Ebru Yaman, Media and Publications Manager, on +61 3 9345 2928, +61 428 034 089 or yaman.e@wehi.edu.au
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