Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
MESSAGE FROM DR CARLOS SALOMON
February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and a time when the profile of ovarian cancer, its causes and cures, is highlighted across Australia.
As a Lions Medical Research Foundation Senior Research Fellow, my team and I are at the forefront of ovarian cancer research. At the Exome Biology Laboratory, we are working on how human exosomes can be isolated, characterised and what their role is in evaluating their clinical utility as biomarkers of disease and therapeutic interventions. My specific project relates to tumour-derived exosomes as a signature of ovarian cancer, and liquid biopsies as indicators of tumour progression. As Study Leader, I explore how exosomes, which are produced by cells and contain genetic material and proteins, contribute to the development of ovarian cancer.
In the past five years, the understanding of how cells communicate with each other in both healthy and diseased states has undergone a significant shift. We have learnt that by characterising the exosome profile of early stage cancer, individuals with ovarian cancer can be identified at an early stage while the disease is still treatable.
My team and I have been able to isolate extracellular vesicles and measure the level of a particular type of exosome. This means detection of early-stage ovarian cancer is possible by looking for a specific type of exosome that tests positive for tumour biomarkers. There is an urgent need for a reliable diagnostic marker to allow for early detection of ovarian cancer, and this would improve survival rates dramatically. When the cancer is diagnosed earlier, women face a much better chance of a full recovery.
So this February, I am asking all Lions Clubs of Queensland and Northern New South Wales to fundraise on behalf of Lions Medical Research Foundation and in support of the work my team and I are undertaking to ensure we develop cures and treatments for ovarian cancer.
Thank you for your support to date, and for your support into the future.
Dr Carlos Salomon