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Advancing Colorectal Cancer Care: Cabrini researchers secure NHMRC Ideas Grant to investigate checkpoint inhibitor therapies


In a significant development in Cabrini’s continued work against colorectal cancer (CRC), Associate Professor Anne Fletcher (Monash University) and Dr Simon Wilkins (Cabrini Monash Department of Surgery), have successfully secured over $1.3m from this year’s Ideas Grant funding round, administered by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Aimed at accelerating innovative projects spearheaded by early- and mid-career researchers, this funding will enable work aimed at understanding the ineffectiveness of checkpoint inhibitor therapies in over 95% of CRC patients, despite promising outcomes for other cancer types. This will build upon previous studies, in collaboration with the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, exploring key structural and biological features believed to drive poor and unpredictable treatment responses for CRC.

The research represents a key milestone in Cabrini’s long-standing efforts in CRC, aligning with the Let’s Beat Bowel Cancer initiative and its mission to advance scientific and clinical methodologies for improved patient outcomes. This research will form a continuation of this commitment, developing pathways towards personalised treatment that will redefine what is possible for CRC patients and their clinicians.