Investing in Cancer Research

In 2023 we're investing in 3 of the brightest and best cancer researchers from across Australia.

Please see the list of the 2021 and 2022 cancer researchers that were funded by the Can Too Foundation. 

Dr Joshua Tobin

Mater Research Institute, University of Queensland 

The role of lipids in the immune fitness of malignant B cells, intratumoral T cells, and CAR-T cells in follicular lymphoma

Although many patients with follicular lymphoma are responsive to chemotherapy, the inability of the anti-tumour immune response to remove cancer cells can lead to treatment resistance. It remains unclear what drives this inadequate anti-tumour immune response.

The altered metabolism of fuel sources, such as sugars and fats, are common features of cancer. In this project, Dr Tobin will explore the by-products of altered metabolism, how they impair the immune response and their role in early treatment failure in people with follicular lymphoma.

Dr Holly Holliday

Children's Cancer Institute

Investigating histone citrullination as a novel epigentic driver in diffuse midline glioma

Diffuse Midline Glioma (DMG) is one of the most devastating brain cancers affecting children. It is incurable, and sees young school-aged children progress steadily to their deaths despite all efforts to slow the disease. The need for effective treatments cannot be overstated. 

The main driver mutation in DMG causes a defective histone protein to be produced, which triggers massive disruption to gene activity, ultimately causing cells to become cancerous.

Dr Holliday will explore an understudied histone modification – called ‘citrullination’ – to determine if targeting of this particular histone modification can prevent activation of the genes that are driving tumour growth.

The goal of this project is to increase understanding of DMG biology, and ultimately develop novel treatment strategies for people with DMG.

Dr Vasilios Panagopoulos

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Adelaide

Targeted inhibition of myeloperoxidase: a new therapeutic strategy to prevent multiple myeloma disease progression

 Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer that is strongly influenced by inflammatory cells that accumulate within the bone marrow of patients.

One of the major concerns myeloma patients face as they endure numerous lines of therapy is that the efficacy and duration of response decreases with each subsequent round of treatment.  As a result, patients become refractory to all treatments and unfortunately succumb to their disease.

There is therefore a real need for the development of new, well-tolerated therapies that overcome treatment resistance and prevent patients from relapsing. This project focuses on developing a new treatment strategy to address this unmet clinical need.

Dr Panagopoulos and his team have previously shown that myeloperoxidase (MPO), released by inflammatory cells within the bone marrow of people with multiple myeloma, contributes to disease progression.

The goal of this project is to generate the crucial pre-clinical data required to support the translation of a new MPO inhibitor – into clinical trials – for treating people with multiple myeloma.

We Invest In Fighting All Cancers

Can Too Foundation believes in funding research across all cancer types, including rare cancers. We support early-career cancer research grants and major cancer research projects for one year at a time, with a commitment to continue providing support in future years for multi-year grants and projects.

Blood Cancers

View Research

Bowel Cancer

View Research

Brain Cancer

View Research

Breast Cancer

View Research

Cancer Genetics & Biology

View Research

Cancer Prevention

View Research

Cancer Treatment

View Research

Children's Cancers

View Research

Gynaecological Cancers

View Research

Lung Cancer

View Research

Pancreatic Cancer

View Research

Prostate Cancer

View Research

Rare Cancers

View Research

Skin Cancers

View Research

Current Beneficiary Partners

Children's Cancer Institute's vision is to save the lives of all children with cancer and improve their long-term health, through research. In 2021 Can Too is funding Children's Cancer Institute researcher – Dr Emmy Fleuren who was also a participant and ambassador for Can Too’s Autumn Swim program. She is dedicated to improving the cure rates for children with sarcoma using therapies that specifically target the tumour cells that are more effective and less likely to cause damaging side effects.

Can Too Foundation has also partnered with the Children's Cancer Institute, by training open water swimmers to take on the Balmoral Swim for Cancer since 2018. By training swimmers for these events Can Too has raised over $309,220 for cancer research and prevention. 

Cancer Australia was established by the Australian Government in 2006 to benefit all Australians affected by cancer, and their families and carers. Cancer Australia aims to reduce the impact of cancer, address disparities and improve outcomes for people affected by cancer by leading and coordinating national, evidence-based interventions across the continuum of care.

Cancer Council NSW has collaborated with the Can Too Foundation since February 2014, with four rounds of one-year funding support for major cancer research projects including A/Prof Phoebe Phillips team leading a breathkthrough in pancreatic cancer. Together we are developing and delivering new fundraising programs in the health and fitness space that engage members of the community to take part in fitness events to encourage a healthy lifestyle while raising funds for cancer research. Our programs aim at encouraging people to take up or maintain exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle to reduce their chances of being diagnosed with cancer.

Can Too Foundation has partnered with Hudson Institute of Medical Research. Hudson Institute of Medical Research share Can Too's commitment to funding research for ALL cancer types and ALL areas of cancer research. Hudson Institute scientists are investigating how cancer develops, exploring ways to better diagnose, detect and treat life-threatening cases – and improve a patient’s quality of life.