The FCCPC undertakes research into many aspects of cancer control with a particular focus on prevention and early detection.
The overall principle driving our research agenda is that progression from cellular normality to cancer, a process characterised by increasing instability in the genome, can be modulated through targeting risk factors and their modification, and/or through targeting pre-cancerous biomarkers and the use of interventions that regulate or halt progression. The scope of our research program therefore includes screening, minimising high-risk behaviour, obtaining a better understanding of pre-cancer biology and the triggers of oncogenesis (the process of cancer development), and identifying how better to modulate these.
Our research projects fall into 4 general areas with the following broad aims:
- Identify useful markers - either molecular or biological - of the stages of cancer development (including dysplasia), progress and response to treatment.
- Develop new diagnostic, monitoring and therapeutic agents based on a better understanding of the molecular and biological characteristics of cancer and its stages.
- Utilise the latest molecular technologies to identify new risk factors for cancer and develop molecular-based approaches to mitigate these risk factors.
- Develop new cancer therapies.
- Improve our understanding of environmental factors (e.g. low-level irradiation, food components) that cause cancer and genetic damage and how to minimise the impact of these.
- Develop new “environmental approaches” (lifestyle elements, diet, chemo-preventive agents) that slow or block oncogenesis (cancer development).
- Coordinate health practitioners (doctors, nurses, nutritionists, psychologists etc), clinical departments, population screening and clinical research programs to support the evaluation of new diagnostics, treatments and preventives.
- Trial new agents of relevance to controlling the burden of cancer in the field of treatment of existing cancer.
- Trial new agents of relevance to controlling the burden of cancer in the field of cancer prevention.
- Develop improved models and approaches for care and support of cancer patients and their families, including dealing with the consequences and side-effects of cancer treatment.
- Epidemiology and policy – identify and monitor trends in cancer occurrence, cancer-preventive activities and develop population policy for the control of cancer.
- Screening and primary prevention at the population level – addressing individual and community needs in relation to prevention through lifestyle, chemoprevention and screening.
- Molecular epidemiology and better estimation of risk for developing cancer.