A lung cancer biobank designed to harness research efforts in a bid to better understand and treat the deadly disease will be established after receiving $80,000 from the Clifford Craig Foundation.
The Tasmanian Lung Cancer Registry (TLCR) will bring together multiple stakeholders from across the State to analyse current data on the disease, including diagnosis and treatment, helping to better inform clinical practice and patient care.
The funding was announced by the Clifford Craig Foundation - a health promotion charity which supports the Launceston General Hospital, the tertiary referral hospital for north and north west Tasmania.
Lung cancer is one of Tasmania’s biggest killers. The state has the second highest rate of smoking, which is the leading cause of lung cancer in Australia.
“The TLCR will establish a much-needed lung cancer biobank for translational research which will help to gain a greater understanding of this highly lethal disease and earlier diagnosis,” TLCR research lead, and College of Health and Medicine Health Sciences Head of Respiratory Translational Research Group and senior lecturer, Dr Sukhwinder (Romy) Sohal, said (pictured).
“We know very little about the mechanisms which lead to lung cancer, and how we can diagnose the disease at an earlier stage.
“There has been a lot of good work done in regards to health initiatives for tobacco control, however Tasmania’s current smoking rate is 18.9% compared to the national rate of 16%.
“Due to high smoking rates, lung cancer is now one of the major killers in Tasmania.
“The current five-year average survival rate (17%) for patients with lung cancer is much lower than for other leading causes of cancer. In fact, one Australian dies every hour from lung cancer.
“It is vital that more research is undertaken as nationally, lung cancer is an under-researched disease.”
The TLCR will be based at the University’s College of Health and Medicine’s School of Health Sciences in Newnham and will work across Tasmania in collaboration with Launceston General Hospital, North-West Burnie Hospital and Royal Hobart Hospital.
The Clifford Craig Foundation provides funding for innovative medical research, identifying better treatments and ways to cure health-related issues which are important to Tasmanians.