UNIVERSITY of Newcastle researcher Nikola Bowden has been awarded a Cure Cancer Foundation Australia grant to continue studying the causes and prognosis of melanoma.
It follows the completion of a project where Dr Bowden successfully identified problems with DNA repair in melanoma.
The next stage of the study will further explore the DNA repair factor, focusing on developing tests to determine melanoma aggression and progression.
Ultimately, Dr Bowden hopes to tailor the diagnosis and prognosis for individual melanoma patients.
“There is an idea that melanomas are like other types of cancer but they’re not. Melanomas don’t respond to chemotherapy and unfortunately they have a very low rate of survival,” Dr Bowden said.
The Cure Cancer funding will also allow Dr Bowden’s research team to better determine the severity of a melanoma and provide patients with more accurate estimates of life expectancy.
Dr Bowden believes the tests they develop will have a significant impact on melanoma prevention and therapy.
“Testing people for this deficient gene will give doctors more definitive information that allows them to determine the best path of treatment and develop a personalised plan for each of their patients,” Dr Bowden said.