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After 10 Years Of Research, Doctors Recruiting Patients To Test New Cancer Treatment

Trials will begin early next year at the Royal Adelaide Hospital on a new cancer treatment developed through a decade of research.

Clinical trials on a new treatment expected to improve the survival rates for sufferers of lung and ovarian cancer will begin soon in South Australia.

Recruiting patients for the trials will start in early 2020 thanks to a partnership between AusHealth and researchers at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

RAH Cancer Clinical Trials Unit chief Michael Brown says the treatment uses antibody technology and has the potential to change the way solid cancers are fought.

Image: Royal Adelaide Hospital

"The test uses antibodies that carry a low dose of radiation and target a specific protein that is created by dying or dead cancer cells," Professor Brown said.

"The radiation signal is picked up on a scan, so we can see in patients who have received chemotherapy just how well the chemotherapy is killing the cancer cells.

"Our trial aims to test how well the antibodies can target specific cancer cells to deliver low-dose radiation."

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Professor Brown said the new method, the result of a decade-long research effort, might transfer to other cancers.

"In the first instance we are trialling the test on lung and ovarian cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, but we believe this approach has the potential to boost the effectiveness of other cancer treatments," he said.

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South Australian Health Minister Stephen Wade said the $33 million investment in the local research was the largest commercial deal for Adelaide developed medical technology in 20 years.

"This partnership, driven by AusHealth, links RAH researchers with pharmaceutical investors, and will help to fast track bringing this important technology to patients," Wade said.