Today on Voice America’s Navigating the Cancer Maze, I interview Professor Mark Smyth who is regarded as an international leader in tumour immunology, immunotherapy and natural killer (NK) cell biology. My co-host is Dr Bruce Whelan, GP.
Today I interview Professor Mark Smyth who is regarded as an international leader in tumour immunology, immunotherapy and natural killer (NK) cell biology. My co-host is Dr Bruce Whelan, GP. Dr Whelan and I see cancer patients in our practices.
We are aware there is a great need for cancer education in the community. By understanding the intricacies of the immune system in parallel with the biological nature of cancer; we believe that patients will make better informed decisions regarding their choice of cancer treatmentProfessor Smyth is a person of influence who has made key discoveries in his field.
A number of those discoveries have led to new clinical trials in cancer immunotherapy. Professor Smyth relocated to the QIMR Berghofer in Brisbane (2013) as Senior Scientist and NH&MRC Australia Fellow.
He is a Senior Editor at Cancer Research, & a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Cancer Research Institute (USA).
Learn More: www.qimrberghofer.edu.au
Professor Mark Smyth
Professor Mark Smyth received his PhD from the University of Melbourne in 1988 & trained at the National Cancer Institute (USA) 1988-1992.
After 8 years at Austin Research Institute Melbourne, working on mechanisms of lymphocyte-mediated cytotoxicity, he relocated to Peter Macallum where his studies on effector molecules collectively rekindled world-wide interest in cancer immune surveillance. A number of his discoveries have led to new clinical trials in cancer immunotherapy.
Professor Smyth relocated to QIMR Berghofer, Brisbane (2013) as a Senior Scientist and NH&MRC Australia Fellow. He is a Senior Editor at Cancer Research, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Cancer Research Institute (USA).
The Immunology in Cancer and Infection Laboratory currently focuses upon advancing our understanding of the basic principles underlying an immune response to cancer and infection.
We aim to further understand these processes at the molecular level, with particular emphasis on the role of the innate immune system, in particular, NK cells, NKT cells and gamma-delta T cells.
Our laboratory is building a detailed picture of how networks of immune cells function to recognise, respond to, and destroy tumour cell masses and metastases. We are interested in defining the importance, timing, and nature of the natural immune response to transformation.
We are also using new antigens (including glycolipids), antibodies, and cytokines in combination to stimulate strong innate and lasting adaptive immunity to cancer.
Our findings are being used to develop more effective biological and cellular therapies for human cancer, in particular, melanoma, breast and prostate cancer, and haematological cancers.
Learn more about Prof Smyth’s research
One of QIMR Berghofer’s three Research Programs is cancer, one of the major causes of illness and death in Australia and the developed world. In 2012, it is estimated that more than 120,700 Australians were diagnosed with cancer (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer). Cancer accounted for about 3 in 10 deaths in Australia, making it the second most common cause of death, exceeded only by cardiovascular diseases. Cancer is a disease which is caused by abnormal cell growth and eventually spreads to other parts of the body. Some cancers are common within a family history and are clearly inherited, while others are caused by factors in the environment interacting with genetic susceptibilities. Many forms of cancer can be treated successfully if detected early.
Cancer types researched by QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
- Blood cancers (including leukaemia, lymphoma and myelomas)
- Brain cancer (glioblastoma)
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal (bowel) cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (endocrine cancer)
- Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (nose and throat cancer)
- Non-melanoma skin cancer (actinic solar keratosis, squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma)
- Oesophageal cancer (including Barrett’s oesophagus)
- Ovarian cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Stomach (gastric) cancer
Learn More: www.qimrberghofer.edu.au Navigating the Cancer Maze is presented by the Grace Gawler Institute for Integrated Cancer Solutions, Gold Coast Australia. We are a not for profit health promotion charity.