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Watch: Future Medicine - Stem Cells and Cancer

August 29, 2023

  • What kinds of cancer can be treated with stem cell transplants?
  • And will this change?
  • How is umbilical cord blood used to treat some types of cancer?
  • How is stem cell science changing our understanding of how cells go rogue, leading to conditions like skin cancer or leukaemia?
  • What can we reasonably hope for in the future?

Find out from our panel of researchers and clinicians working on:

  • the use of cord blood for cellular therapies for the treatment of cancer, leukaemia and other disorders: Associate Professor Ngaire Elwood
  • how blood stem cells are controlled, and how they sometime go rogue, leading to blood cancers: Dr Ashley Ng
  • melanoma and other skin cancers: Professor Mark Shackleton. 

The National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia presented this public webinar in August 2023 to share the latest developments in stem cell research to study and treat the many different kinds of cancer. It was also an opportunity for people to ask their own questions of the experts.

Nearly 150,000 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in Australia in 2020, and there were just under 50,000 deaths from cancer (Source: Cancer Council). The good news is that survival rates are improving, thanks to earlier diagnosis, improvements in treatment options, and the work of scientists and clinicians in Australia and around the world. This event provides an opportunity to meet the scientists working at the forefront of cancer research.

In the 1980s, the cancer survival rate was less than 50%. Today, almost seven in 10 Australians will survive for at least five years after a cancer diagnosis and in some cancers the survival is as high as 90%.

Watch a recording of the webinar:

More about the speakers:

Associate Professor Ngaire Elwood is the Director of the BMDI Cord Blood Bank and Head of the Cord Blood Stem Cell Research Laboratory at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne and a Foundation director:

Dr Ashley Ng is a senior research officer at WEHI, and consultant in haematology at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre. In 2022, he won the Foundation’s Metcalf Prize for Stem Cell Research:

Professor Mark Shackleton is the Director of Oncology at Alfred Health, a Professor of Oncology at Monash University, Co-Director of the Monash Partners Comprehensive Cancer Consortium, and Chair of Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials Ltd. The Foundation is backing his research into melanoma and vitiligo through our Matched Funding Program:

Tanya Ha (moderator) is Director of Engagement at Science in Public, where she has looked after communication for the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia, among other clients, for 10 years. She is also an award-winning science journalist, television presenter, author, speaker and sustainable living advocate:

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