Professor Peter Leedman
Cancer affects us all - none of us can escape. Either we will get it, one of our loved ones will or a work colleague or friend will be affected. The ramifications are devastating for us all.
The Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research is committed to really "making a difference" in this disease by bringing a cutting edge, collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach to tackle some of the cancers with the worst outcomes.
The MACA Ride to Conquer Cancer (RTCC) benefiting the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (the Perkins) is a key component of our fight to conquer cancer, as it raises essential funds for the research being performed at the Perkins. The RTCC is a cycling journey throughout the scenic countryside of Western Australia that I’m embarking on again in 2016 to fight cancer.
Last year, I joined over 1000 cyclists in the ride of 220 km to Mandurah and back, including my wife Dr Sarah Paton (who I have to say is amazing as she is one of a very small number of people who does this ride as well as the Perkins 60 km Walk to End Women’s Cancers that we hold early each year!). In 2015, the RTCC was a fantastic event with incredible commitment and raising over $4.5m for cancer research.
Its a fantastic time to be involved in medical research as the new genomics technologies (DNA/gene sequencing) are transforming what we can do and the speed with which we can apply the advances in genomics to improving the outcomes for those with cancer. A key goal for our research is to utilise the new technologies to bring more "precision" to cancer diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
As Director of the Perkins I have the privilege to work with an incredibly talented group of high quality scientists and medical doctors. I am passionate about cancer research and as a physician as well as a scientist I know that its only with high quality research that we will improve outcomes for cancer sufferers. My own Laboratory is focused on several cancers, including liver, head and neck, breast, prostate and melanoma, where we are aiming to discover novel treatments that we can move into the clinic. One of our therapies is an exciting new treatment for liver cancer, which is progressing towards early phase clinical trials.
In the past year I have had the pleasure of appointing co-Heads of our Cancer Division, our Scientific Head Professor Ruth Ganss located at the Perkins North building on the QEIIMC campus and our Clinical Head, A/Professor Andrew Redfen, a medical oncologist based at the Perkins South building on the Fiona Stanley Hospital campus. We have recruited very high quality people into the Perkins working on cancer, including Professor Alistair Forrest, who works on gene networks in cancer. In the forthcoming years, we will recruit more of the best and brightest scientists and medical doctors from across the globe to form world’s best cancer research teams to drive innovative cancer discovery that we can translate to improved treatments.
Lastly, I have important family reasons why I cycle in the RTCC. My Dad, who was a well known physician, died of widespread prostate cancer in 1997 - a life cut short. My father-in-law, Robert (Bob) Paton, also died of prostate cancer. With this strong family history in their grandfathers, my two sons have a higher risk of prostate cancer. One of my goals is to help devise a cure for this disease long before they ever need to think about it!
Please contribute to this fantastic event with a donation. Funds raised in The MACA Ride to Conquer Cancer will support ground-breaking, critical cancer research being undertaken at the Perkins, Western Australia’s premier adult medical research institute.
Thank you in advance for your help.
Professor Peter Leedman
Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research
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