Hudson News: Summer 2023

By Rob Clancy, staff writer

Director’s Message: Changing the odds on ovarian cancer

As medical researchers, we spend a lot of our time looking at numbers, establishing which changes or effects are significant and which are not. But some numbers are always more significant than others. Such as the fact that five Australian women will be diagnosed with cancer every day. And that 70% of them are diagnosed at an advanced stage.

Professor Elizabeth Hartland, Director and CEO of Hudson Institute, giving her Directors message for Hudson News Summer 2023
Professor Elizabeth Hartland

These numbers are much more than statistics. They are the lives of our mothers, sisters, daughters, partners and perhaps ourselves.

Sadly, ovarian cancer detection and survival rates have not improved in decades. That is why this disease is such an important focus of our work at Hudson Institute. As with many other cancers, we need better tools for early diagnosis as well as more effective treatments for ovarian cancer.

As you will read in our Hudson News Summer 2023, we have promising ovarian cancer research underway. As well as new avenues of treatment, our researchers are working on better and faster methods of detecting this killer disease.

One of the major issues we face is that ovarian cancer is so difficult to detect – the symptoms are very similar to those many women experience every month with their natural cycle. Dr Andrew Stephens is aiming to change that, working with Cleo Diagnostics on game-changing tests that could save lives and unnecessary surgery.

Associate Professor Simon Chu and his team used an unconventional method to access data on the rare forms of ovarian cancer that they study. The story of how they and a determined group of women from around the globe used social media to benefit them shows the power of the community to create change.

An exciting new discovery comes from Professor Paul Hertzog and Dr Nicole Campbell, who used their 20 years of work with interferons to uncover an entirely new avenue for ovarian cancer treatment. Their
study, published in the highly prestigious journal Nature, is the start of a new research direction that will make a positive difference to many lives.

You will also hear from a young woman living with the uncertainty that ovarian cancer brings. Jessica Clarke’s inspiring story shows how life’s priorities change when this disease enters the picture – she is now using her voice to amplify calls for more funding, more awareness and a greater focus on ovarian cancer research.

I am extremely proud of the work we are doing at Hudson Institute to change the statistics around this disease. We hope that one day diagnosed patients face odds that are less daunting and more hopeful.

With your commitment, together we can support the innovative research that helps improve survival rates for more Australians affected by ovarian cancer.

You can read more about our research on our website or stay up to date with it all by subscribing to our mailing list.

With gratitude

Professor Elizabeth Hartland
Director and CEO

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“Thank you Hudson Institute researchers. Your work brings such hope to all women with ovarian cancer knowing that potentially women in the future won't have to go through what we have!”

Alana Chantry