Cancer

Cancer banner

Cancer is the leading cause of death in the world. In Australia, the Cancer Council approximates that more than 125,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year.

Our world-renowned researchers are at the forefront of cancer research in their respective fields of drug delivery, cancer therapeutics and drug transport and drug design, understanding the underlying biology of cancer, and developing better methods of targeting drugs to cancers.

Research strength

  • Investigating drug delivery and targeted therapies
  • Cancer therapeutics and personalised medicine
  • Understanding the role and function of drug transporters
  • Antibody optimisation and drug design

Research highlights

  • Drug delivery:
    - Dr Wojciech Chrzanowski developed a means of targeting cancer drugs to lung tumours using silk-based drug carriers. (read full paper), and gold nanoparticles (read full paper). His group also have a strong interest in nano-biospectroscopy, which has a particular application in the nano-biomechanics of cancer cells.
    - Dr Pegah Varamini is investigating novel methods of drug delivery in breast cancer and has recently acquired research funding from the National Breast Cancer Foundation. She has a particular interest in selective delivery of drugs to treat triple-negative breast cancer and bone metastases, which would also have relevance for other tumour types.
    - Dr Nial Wheate is also investigating novel methods for delivery of platinum drugs.

  • Cancer therapeutics and personalised medicineProfessor Alan Boddy is leading a team seeking to develop a deeper understanding of the underlying pharmacology of both cytotoxic and targeted therapies. The focus is on personalising drug dosage regimens, and providing the optimal treatment for each patient and their disease. The team have identified genetic variations that may indicate which patients are at greatest risk of toxicity after chemotherapy (read full paper), and investigated sources of variability in children with lymphoma (read full paper).

  • Dr Fanfan Zhou is interested in the molecular regulation of critical solute carrier drug transporter families (SLCs) and their pharmacogenetic variation on the transport and distribution of anticancer drugs. In recent work, Dr Zhou has identified the important role of alkaloids in modifying the uptake of drugs (full paper), as well as considering the broader role of these transporters in cellular function. (full paper)

  • Antibody optimisation and drug designDr Veysel Kayser is an expert on the development of biosimilars and biobetters and is working to improve the characteristics of therapeutic antibodies using computational methods (full paper). Professor Paul Groundwater and Dr Rebecca Roubin are working on the design and development of novel cancer agents.

Meet our research theme leader

Professor Alan Boddy

Professor Alan Boddy
Research Theme Leader

Alan Boddy is a Professor of Pharmacy, with a specific interest in the pharmacology of drugs used to treat cancer and in pharmacogenetics. Professor Boddy’s research spans multiple aspects of cancer pharmacology, including drug analysis, pharmacogenetics, biomarkers and pharmacodynamics.