Lance Armstrong Foundation Grant for Sydney
23 December 2008
Lance Armstrong Foundation Grant Recognises Cancer Research Expertise at The University of Sydney.
The University of Sydney is the only Australian institution to be awarded a grant by the Lance Armstrong Foundation in 2008 announced last week.
Eleven grants totalling nearly US$2 million were given to groups of researchers from nine US universities and a hospital, as well as the team from The University of Sydney and the Sydney Cancer Centre (SCC).
The team includes Dr. Janette Vardy, senior lecturer in medicine based at Concord Clinical School and SCC; Haryana Dhillon, PhD candidate and research manager for the Survivorship Research Group; Dr. Hidde van der Ploeg, research fellow at the Centre for Physical Activity and Health at the School of Public Health; Professor Stephen Clarke, head of the Department of Medicine at Concord Clinical School and SCC; Dr. Michael Boyer, clinical senior lecturer from the Discipline of Medicine and SCC; and Professor Adrian Bauman, Sesquicentenary Professor in Public Health, also from the Centre for Physical Activity and Health at the School of Public Health. Their project, The impact of physical activity on quality of life in lung cancer patients, will conducted over two years with a budget of US$110,000.
"The study will evaluate a physical activity programme for patients with inoperable lung cancer to see if it helps to improve fatigue and their quality of life. In addition, it will obtain important data about the impact of physical activity on physical functioning, body composition, mood, cognitive function, sleep and shortness of breath. We will be looking at blood tests to learn more about the possible mechanisms of some of these symptoms," said Dr. Janette Vardy, the chief investigator on the grant.
"If positive, the study has the potential to change how we treat patients with more advanced lung cancer by providing patients with a non-toxic, inexpensive treatment to improve quality of life and potentially help them achieve the highest possible level of independent function for as long as possible," she added.
The Lance Armstrong Foundation was created by the champion cyclist in 1997 after a cancer diagnosis in 1996 led to serious surgery. The Foundation supports cancer survivorship research and community-based participatory research grants by established and young investigators, in line with its aim to provide support for research that it not commonly funded by traditional sources. The grant awarded to Dr. Vardy and her team is one of six awarded to young investigators, while five other grants were given to established researchers.
The Foundation has awarded more than US$21 million since 1998, when it first started to award research grants. Grant recipients have to complete a rigorous application process, which is then peer-reviewed by a selection committee of scientific experts and lay reviewers.
"Lung cancer is an under-researched area. Our study of physical activity has the potential to help people with cancer in their chest (like lung cancer or mesothelioma) feel better during and after their treatment," noted Haryana Dhillon, the second-named researcher on the grant.
Contact: Jake O'Shaughnessy
Phone: +61 2 9351 4312 or 0421 617 861