Support for cancer ‘smac’ down

Support for cancer ‘smac’ down

Illuminate newsletter index page, June 2018
June 2018

Dr Najoua Lalaoui
Dr Najoua Lalaoui is working to improve drug treatments
for aggressive cancers.

Dr Najoua Lalaoui’s research to outsmart cancer and improve patient treatments has received significant support from Cancer Australia, Cure Cancer Australia and the Victorian Cancer Agency.

Funding from Cancer Australia and Cure Cancer Australia is helping Dr Lalaoui to drive the development of a single drug that combines two potent anti-cancer treatments.

Single drug packs double punch

In collaboration with clinicians and chemists, Dr Lalaoui is applying lessons from her previous discoveries on boosting the anti-cancer effect of a new medicine class called ‘smac mimetic’, by combining it with another drug that restricts cancer’s inherent ability to evade treatment.

Dr Lalaoui said that in addition, a substantial four-year fellowship from the Victorian Cancer Agency was enabling her to expand on the success of previous research in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

“We are working to determine whether the potent smac-mimetic combination treatments are successful in other aggressive cancers such as breast, ovarian and lung cancers."

“I'm very grateful for the funding which is crucial for accelerating progress towards the first-ever Australian clinical trials in this promising combination therapy for AML and breast cancer,” Dr Lalaoui said.