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Campus News : March 2012
6 CONNECT :UOW MARCH 2012 CONNECT: RESEARCH Anovel formulation developed by UOW researchers for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer has been granted patent rights by the European Patent Office. Emeritus Professor John Bremner at UOW's School of Chemistry, Professor Philip Clingan and Dr Julie Locke are the co-inventors on the patent, which arose from research conducted in collaboration with Associate Professor Marie Ranson and Dr Tamantha Stutchbury between 2003 and 2010. Professor Clingan and Professor Ranson are both directors of the Cancer Continuum Research Program at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI). The novel formulation, called Fluorodex, was developed to address key adverse events associated with current treatment regimens that are used to combat metastatic colorectal cancer. "Many colorectal cancer patients cannot tolerate existing 'standard of care' treatments, which leads to interruption or discontinuation of therapy," Professor Clingan said. "The main benefit of Fluorodex is the ability to deliver an effective chemotherapeutic regimen that patients can tolerate over repeated treatment cycles." The granted EP patent (No. 2131849) will assist UOW and its commercialisation partner UniQuest in ongoing discussions with potential industry partners, who are evaluating the technology for clinical testing. Earlier in 2011, the research group received a favourable review of a proposed clinical treatment protocol from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which further clarified the steps needed to take Fluorodex through the clinical trial phase. UOW's Commercialisation Manager (Health and Science) Dr Gavin Dixon said the European Patent Office has a particularly gruelling examination process, so the patent milestone gives the Fluorodex technology a significant value boost. Dr Dixon said UOW gratefully acknowledged the considerable financial support from local organisations to the Fluorodex project over the years. Supporters have included the Illawarra Cancer Carers Inc., Kiama, Minnamurra and Gerringong Sunrise Rotary, The Robert East Memorial Fund, Southern Medical Day Care Centre, the Gay Bates Memorial Foundation and UOW Alumni. The project also received federal government funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council and AusIndustry's COMET scheme. CU PATENT FOR ANTI-CANCER FORMULATION Despite 25 years of campaigns and media promotion, teens still aren't getting the message about sun protection. But an attention-grabbing campaign developed by researchers from The Centre for Health Initiatives (CHI) at the University of Wollongon is out to change the lax attitudes of adolescents towards sun exposure. The campaign, which was trialled in Wollongong, has been adopted by The Health Sponsorship Council of New Zealand. "Teenagers are a challenging age group to target with most social marketing messages. The long-last and life-threatening effects of excessive sun exposure usually come later in life, so most teenagers don't see preventing sun damage as relevant to their lives now," CHI Director Professor Sandra Jones said. "CHI is trying to change that by showing young people the immediate effects of their sun exposure," she said. NZ ADOPTS UOW SUN PROTECTION CAMPAIGN Using UV cameras, the researchers showed young people the invisible skin damage they had already developed -- damage that will become visible as they age, but that is preventable and reversible if they act now. e community campaign in mer 2009/10, the CHI researchers tographed 308 teenagers in ollongong. he 'sun team' distributed 2220 un packs' (sunscreen samples, minder wristbands, laptop ckers and information about sun ection), and placed 140 posters ng teen models with regular and in the local community. They also ran a school-based intervention with educational activities and UV-photography in Wollongong and Newcastle. "Adolescents who have seen the campaign reported that it was relevant to them and data collected in the intervention schools shows that it had a positive impact on their attitudes and behaviours," Professor Jones said. Research Office Researchers from The Centre for Health Initiatives are out to change the lax attitudes of adolescents towards sun exposure. Image courtesy of Health Sponsorship Council NZ. ng tingi During the Summ pho Wo Th 's re stic prote (showin UV photos) ...showed young people the invisible skin damage they had already developed
CONNECT:UOW July 2012