Run for Cure Cancer and help fund vital Cancer Research
Dr Arutha Kulasinghe is a Cure Cancer funded researcher based at the Queensland University of Technology.
Dr Arutha is researching the response of Immunotherapy to help the treatment of cancer patients.
Immunotherapies – the prevention or treatment of disease by stimulating an immune response – have been hailed as a “game changer” in the treatment of a number of solid tumours.
But there are currently no ways to identify whether a patient will actually respond to such therapy. In his Cure Cancer-supported research, Dr Arutha Kulasinghe aims to find out how people respond – by examining biopsies in head and neck, and non-small cell lung cancers, using novel spatial-mapping technology.
In this spatial mapping, high-resolution technology helps to show the biology of the tumour and cell-cell interactions. In this way Arutha aims to gain a better understanding of what’s happening inside these tumours, and to identify tumour-immune cell interactions that may help predict a patient’s response to immunotherapy.
“My work aims to comprehensively assess the tumour tissue of the patient,” says Arutha. “If we can make individualised assessments of a patient’s tumour and identify biomarkers for targeted therapies, we’re likely to see the greatest benefit.”
Arutha believes one of his greatest achievements so far is his research in the liquid biopsy field. “This has been world-leading for head and neck cancers and with new applications for lung cancers,” he says. “The technologies assess a patient’s tumour non-invasively via a simple blood sample. This work is now being expanded on to determine whether patients can be monitored during therapy by a blood test.”
The Cure Cancer grant will provide critical funding that Arutha needs to investigate “important clinically-driven research questions for unmet clinical needs”. In particular, he wants to develop world-first approaches that will allow researchers to better understand the micro-environments inside tumours. This will, in turn, allow scientists to identify cells whose analysis may help predict what the response to therapies will be.
“There’s been exponential growth of technologies and therapies to identify, monitor and treat cancer, and these treatments are becoming more and more tailored to individual patients. So in the future we’ll be able to use precision medicine approaches that will result in better patient outcomes and, hopefully, cures.”
Every 12 minutes 1 Australian dies from cancer and we need to change this!, says Arutha. ‘ We all know family and friends who’ve suffered from this deadly disease and finding better, more effective treatments through vital research is of the utmost importance’
The Cure Cancer grant will provide critical funding for Arutha, to continue his vital research.
Cure Cancer are proud to be a charity partner of GC50. The funds you raise running GC50 this year can help support the crucial research of Arutha and researchers like him.
Over our 53 year history, Cure Cancer has funded over 528 research grants, all of which have been based on innovative, ground-breaking hypotheses like Arutha’s.
Heartbreakingly, our ability to continue this funding has been severely compromised. The disruption caused by COVID-19 has brought fundraising close to a standstill and we are now fighting to ensure we can continue to support the crucial work of future cancer researchers.
Advances in immunotherapy from cancer researchers like Arutha, have the potential to change the outlook for countless cancer patients around the globe.
That’s why we really need your support more than ever this year. You can set up a fundraising page for Cure Cancer here.
Join Team Cure Cancer and run for our cancer researchers.
We can’t let research like this stop.