Our guest speaker this morning was Judi Lane from the Harry Perkins Institute, located here in Perth, West Australia.
The work she described was very interesting.  She spoke about how 4 of her own family members had all died of one form of cancer or another; and then showed how the advancements in the research being carried out by the Harry Perkin Institute could make a huge difference to other families and their members.  The hope is to keep families together for longer and not have them taken away too early through cancer.
 
The stories she spoke about today were stories of hope for the future.  They have had some ground breaking research done on various types of cancer, including melanoma; breast cancer, brain cancer with the hope that prevention and early detection can ensure that these cancers are picked up early and can be treated well.  Her own personal story was that a 1 mm pinpoint of cancerous cells in her breast were picked up early and appropriate treatment could then be given. 
 
Some cancers are harder to deal with. There are very poor outcomes for people with brain cancer and there has been not much change in that area for the past 20 years.  They are working on the challenge to change that.
 
Other areas of research are dealing with diabetes, heart disease, including vascular, stroke and altzheimers; as well as rare genetic diseases.  The impact of this work is huge and families feel empowered when they are able to get answers to questions about these diseases. 
 
The Institute is hoping to make diseases non fatal.  She spoke about some of the amazing people who are doing incredible work including the Heart Team from Fiona Stanley South who are looking at the effects of Covid 19 on those who have heart problems; others who are looking at how already existing drugs could be used to treat heart conditions such as the one currently used for gout which is benefiting some people who have heart problems.  Another person she mentioned was Dr Ciara Duffy who discovered that the honey bee venom can treat a particular breast cancer with 100% success rate in stopping the growth of the cancer and killing it off.  The melatin from the venom can be manufactured synthetically so it is a real game changer. 
 
How wonderful is that. 
 
Another amazing piece of work is that of Nigel Kennedy who wants to make sure that real time analysis of possible diseased tissue can occur, rather than having to send it off to the lab to be checked and then a few days later maybe more surgery needed to be done.  His hope is to have a thimble sized device, which can be placed on a finger, available for doctors to use in the surgery at the time the surgery is being performed with the analysis occurring immediately.
 
The work being done here is world class and may have applications for other uses as well.
 
Thank you Judi for the amazing talk this morning.  If you want to find out more please head to their website:  https://www.perkins.org.au/