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Breast Cancer – Reducing the rate of relapse by Precision Medicine

About the project and the involvement opportunity
Relapse, rather than the initial tumour, is the cause of most breast cancer-related deaths. In this National Breast Cancer Foundation proposal, our overall goal is to understand how to better tailor cancer treatments to reduce the rate of relapse, working toward the goal of zero deaths from breast cancer. We know that tumour cells can sense and respond to mechanical signals, with surrounding stiff or soft environments playing a crucial role in the development, progression, and treatment of cancer. Tumour cells growing in stiff environments are well adapted to fighting for space and competing for nutrients; we believe that it is these highly invasive and aggressive cells which cause relapse by initiating new tumours elsewhere in the body. In this project, we will measure differences in the response to cancer treatment depending on the tumour environment, using our cutting-edge technology that allows us to take pictures of the stiffness of tumours and their environment.

About the position
We are looking for research buddies willing to lend experience to our proposed project in several ways:

  • Sharing your lived experience of Breast cancer, whether as a patient, carer, family member, or survivor.
  • By involvement in our work, reading and editing applications and publications.
  • Sharing exciting outcomes of our highly creative research with others.

What am I expected to do?
We would like assistance with editing our grant application, and we envisage 2-4 meetings per year over the term of the project (4 years total). In these meetings, we will show you through our facilities and the work we are doing to tackle breast cancer relapse. We may ask you to assist by reading over our reports and proposals prior to submission to ensure that they are understandable. If you are comfortable with doing so, we would also like to ask you to give a short talk or to participate in a panel discussion at our scientific meetings; hearing about your experience(s) with cancer really helps to motivate our researchers, reminding them of the importance of what they are doing!

What skills or experience do I need?
We are searching for breast cancer patients and advocates, which may include experience of cancer, either as a patient, carer, family member, or survivor.

How long am I expected to be involved?
There is no minimum term, up to 4 years for this project. Should you wish to stay in contact after that, we would be delighted to share other opportunities with you. We would hope that you will find this relationship beneficial and over the term of the project that you will continue to learn and share our breakthrough findings with others.

Where will meetings be held?
UWA Crawley Campus and/or Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Nedlands.

What support is offered?
$37.50 per hour honorarium. Training and support (if required) is offered by the Consumer and Community Involvement Program.

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