Researchers at UNSW Sydney have received $ 4.8 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for two clinical trials aimed at improving the health of Australians.
UNSW Senior Associate Dean (Research and Operations) in the Faculty of Medicine and Health, Professor Sean Emery, said funding was essential to help researchers undertake innovative research that can improve quality of life and health.
“These grants will help our researchers develop new prevention and treatment to help improve the quality of life for many people. I am proud of the researchers who have successfully completed this cycle and look forward to seeing the results of their studies, ”said Professor Emery.
New therapy to protect against loss of kidney function in patients with type 2 diabetes
Executive Director Professor Bruce Neal and a team of researchers from the George Institute and UNSW Medicine & Health received $ 3.81 million in funding for a study that could improve outcomes for people with diabetes type 2.
Many people with type 2 diabetes develop serious heart and kidney complications. Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are a new type of medicine that may be of benefit when used in the onset of diabetes, but are currently only used after complications have developed.
“Our study will test the value of SGLT2 inhibitor therapy for renal protection in Australians with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes,” said Professor Neal.
“A positive result could have a direct impact on the more than 100,000 Australians and 23 million people worldwide, who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes each year.”
It is expected that the evidence showing that this class of drugs could protect against loss of kidney function would see updated national and international treatment guidelines and advocate for reimbursement of SGLT2 inhibitors as first-line treatment in diabetes. type 2.
New test to predict ovarian cancer prognosis
Professor Susan Ramus of UNSW Medicine & Health was awarded $ 993,500 to develop a tumor test for newly diagnosed ovarian cancer patients, which can predict the prognosis at five years.
“Ovarian cancer has poor survival, with less than 40 percent of women surviving five years. There is a wide range of survival rates, but very few characteristics that indicate which patients will be doing well or poorly, ”said Professor Ramus.
Last year, UNSW announced that this global team of medical researchers had developed a test for an ovarian tumor, at diagnosis, that can predict a woman’s survival five years later.
“With this grant, we will study a large group of 800 patients with newly diagnosed ovarian cancer to determine the accuracy of the test. With this test, we can identify women whose survival is predicted, who would benefit from clinical trials of alternative treatments. By looking at the changes in the tumors of these women, we will identify potential treatments for clinical trials. “
The study team, which includes UNSW professors Michael Friedlander and Claire Wakefield, will work with ovarian cancer survivors to determine patient acceptability and the best ways to present the results. After validation in this cohort study, this test will be ready for use in clinical trials for women whose survival is predicted with current treatments.