Cancer Research

At QIMR Berghofer, our leading cancer researchers are developing new techniques that will help us to understand, prevent, detect and treat cancer, which is the leading cause of death in Australia.

Our researchers are working on a number of projects which include;

  • Prevention: identifying specific modifiable environmental and genetic factors that reduce a person’s risk of developing cancer.
  • Detection: developing better screening tests, so that cancer can be detected earlier.
  • Treat: identifying better treatments for cancer and conduct clinical trials to test for effectiveness.

Cancer cases are expected to grow to 185,000 over the next decade as Australia’s population ages. It is the second most common cause of death, exceeded only by cardiovascular disease.

Although overall cancer survival rates have improved in the past 20 years, several types of cancer have poor five-year survival rates. These include ovarian, brain, oesophageal, lung, pancreas and colorectal cancer.

The research at QIMR Berghofer is aimed at developing a better understanding of who is at risk of particular types of cancer and how treatment options can be tailored and more effective.

Our researchers continue to pioneer novel strategies and treatments across a broad range of cancers to help save lives and improve the quality of treatment.

Professor Juliet French, Program Director

Professor Juliet French is the Program Director of Cancer Research and Head of the Functional Genetics Laboratory at QIMR Berghofer.

Professor French’s laboratory seeks to understand genetic variants in non-coding regions of the genome influence cancer risk and progression. Their ultimate aim is to pinpoint key genes and pathways involved in the development of cancer, to identify potential new treatments and interventions.