Macquarie University & Love Your Sister team up to fight cancer

Love Your Sister, an Australian charity has allocated $712,000 to the Macquarie University Cancer Biobank to fund cancer research.

By U2B Staff 

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Macquarie University was chosen as the partner for Love Your Sister, a charity owned by Samuel Johnson, last year’s winner of Dancing with The Stars Australia in a bit to raise funds for the fight against cancer.

The charity which has raised $12 million dollars for cancer research, has allocated $712,000 to the Macquarie University Cancer Biobank.

This funding will provide support to the university’s head of Biomedical Sciences, Professor Helen Rizos, and her team to carry out their work involving cancer research.

The team is currently conducting ground-breaking work in harvesting high quality cancer biospecimens across all cancers, including breast, colorectal, prostate, brain, liver, gastrointestinal and bladder.

The specimens collected in this study will help researchers find better treatments and cures for various types of cancers.

Commenting on this funding, Professor Rizos said that this generous grant from Love Your Sister will go towards the next phase of the team’s study. This study will involve generating the genetic and cellular fingerprint date for every cancer biospecimen that is banked.

“The first 100 biospecimens will be banked and profiled within the next two years thanks for Love Your Sister,” Professor Rizos said.


Macquarie University Cancer Biobank

The Macquarie University Cancer Biobank, which launched last year, has the capacity to store 80,000 cancer biospecimens.

Researchers at the Macquarie University Cancer Biobank will collect fresh biofluids and store fresh and paraffin-embedded tissue specimens. The bank will maintain longitudinal specimens collected during a patient’s treatment journey and it will store viable tumour and immune cell populations.

The high-quality cancer biospecimens and patient information associated with the samples are made available to researchers who are studying cancer treatment. The cancer research carried out by the university’s Biobank are all ethically approved.

The aims of the Cancer Biobank are to accelerate research into the molecular and cellular biology of cancer as well as a facilitate the discovery and validation of novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers.

This biobank will enable research that is focused in critical unmet clinical needs, that are common to all cancers to be carried out.

Ultimately, the research aims to enable the rapid translation of research results into clinical care.  This will be achieved in a multitude of ways including discovering new effective treatments, novel drug targets, predictive and prognostic markers, modelling cancer responses and monitoring patient outcomes in real-time.

The Macquarie University Cancer Biobank will provide the resources to support clinical care with translational research.


Love Your Sister cancer research charity

Johnson founded the Love Your Sister charity after the passing of his older sister Connie, who died from breast cancer in 2017. The Love Your Sister charity seeks out important research projects across the country to ensure that the funding provided will help to make significant breakthroughs in the fight against cancer.

“I am immensely proud to be partnering with the team at Macquarie University, who, like us, believe that providing personalised treatment for ALL cancer patients, whatever the cancer, regardless of location, income, or status – is key. I am confident that supporting their work will bring us closer to a future where every cancer patient is offered the right treatment, first time, every time,” said Johnson.

The charity is also working with the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (ONJCRI), Monash University, and the Connie Johnson Breast Cancer Research Laboratory at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research on research in breast cancer treatment.