Researchers

Lisa Horvath, Associate Professor, Director of Medical Oncology & Acting Director of Research, Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

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Associate Professor Lisa Horvath,

Director of Medical Oncology & Acting Director of Research, Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

Chris O`Brien Lifehouse research director and prostate cancer medical oncologist Lisa Horvath first became interested in medical research in her first year of training in medical oncology. That was the year that the first clinical trials in Herceptin, an antibody against a pathway in breast cancer, were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Catherine Cole, Professor, Stan Perron Chair of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Princess Margaret Hospital

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Professor Catherine Cole

Professor of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology

University of Western Australia, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, PathWest and the Telethon Kids' Institute.

The improvements in outcomes for children with cancer and leukaemia in the last half century have been phenomenal. From almost universal fatality before 1965, now over 80% of children will be cured. This has come about purely and simply because they have been enrolled on clinical trials.

Nora Straznicky, Senior Research Officer, Human Neurotransmitters Laboratory, Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute

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I am a clinical researcher working in the field of obesity research. My research program examines the mechanisms of nervous system dysfunction in obese people and the benefits of lifestyle changes — such as weight loss and exercise — and drug treatments.

Robyn Ward, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Cancer Centre at Prince of Wales Hospital and University of New South Wales

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For patients who are thinking about being in a clinical trial, I would like to tell them that their participation is an important way we improve our health care. Knowing what works and what doesn’t is fundamental to the evidence base that underpins medicine. Without it, we are just snake oil salesmen.

And it’s important to realise that everyone benefits from clinical trials. Every clinical trials patient has been the beneficiary of previous medical advances brought about by clinical research. There is a circle of benefit that comes back to people.

Catriona McNeil, Associate Professor, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse

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Put simply, clinical trials allow researchers, clinicians and patients to improve healthcare outcomes.

I’m a Medical Oncologist so I support patients on their cancer journey. I specialise in breast and melanoma cancer, two of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Australia. The most challenging element of my job is explaining to a patient that we have run out of effective treatments.  Clinical Trials are imperative to ensure we can advance treatment options for our most needy, so those faced with a cancer diagnosis have an increased chance of survival.

Christopher Reid, NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, Curtin and Monash Universities, - Community Based Clinical Trials

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Over the past 20 years I have had the privilege to have been able to undertake a number of large scale community based clinical trials focussing on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and healthy aging.  We call these “Public Good” Trials as they are often not going to be the topic of major commercial interest to companies but are of immense interest to practising doctors wanting to know what strategies or treatments will give the best results.  These trials have involved more than 30,000 volunteer participants from virtually all States of Australia.  Each and every one of them makes