Grant aids search for a cancer cure

Britt Clynick. Picture: David Baylis         d435808
Britt Clynick. Picture: David Baylis        d435808

A cancer that has been detected in the body, but whose point of origin remains unknown, is called a Carcinoma of Unknown Primary (CUP).

Ms Clynick will be studying this cancer in detail, thanks to a $36,000 grant from the Cancer Council of WA.

The 24-year-old PhD student said she became interested in cancer research after her grandmother died of liver cancer.

�She was only 65 years old … way too young,� she said.

�Very little is known about [CUP] and it is treated with broad spectrum chemotherapy which has variable success,� she said.

Ms Clynick is now in the second year of her PhD.

Her research focus es on the tumour profile of this cancer and the genetic makeup of sufferers.

�I will be starting a retrospective study of past patients, getting the tissues and having a having a look to see what parts of the molecular signature are treatable,� she said.

�I hope by the end of this investigation to be able to recruit people for a study.�

The money Ms Clynick received from the Cancer Council allows her to devote all of her time to CUP research.

The grant is called the PhD Top Up scholarship and is part of $3.8 million allocated by the charity to fund research projects across the State.

�Being able to identify molecular signatures that have the potential to be treatable would have a huge, positive impact on patients and my aim is to at the very least be able to give them a better prognosis,� she said.