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New Research Centre at Sydney to Lead Cancer Fight

Sydney-The $100 million research centre will be dedicated to finding a cure and developing new, effective drugs to treat Cancer that still kills more than 12,000 people in New South Wales each year.

The new research centre is being credited with attracting leading scientists home to undertake crucial research in cancer. It is the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere and a first for Australia.

The centre, an Australian first to establish facilities for research and clinical drugs trials into both adult and children's cancers, was announced by University of NSW Vice-Chancellor Fred Hilmer.

State and federal funding along with other donations will be pooled together to build what will be the only fully unified childhood and adult cancer research centre in the country.

Businessman Frank Lowy has donated $10 million towards the cost of building the new cancer centre, the largest single donation ever received by the University of New South Wales.

Executive director of the Children's Cancer Institute Australia (CCIA) Professor Michelle Haber said the marriage of children's and adult cancer research coupled with the massive amount of funds will bring Australia closer to one day finding a cure for disease.

"We believe that by bringing all these researchers together under one roof, the research output will be enormously magnified," the Professor said.

The centre will house up to 400 cancer researchers, from UNSW and CCIA.

The Lowy Cancer Research Centre has already received a $3.1 million grant from Australian Cancer Research Foundation to develop new drugs for treating children.

Professor Philip Hogg, director of the UNSW Cancer Research Centre, will head adult cancer research at the Lowy centre and will be able to bring back the British trial of a new cancer drug his team developed.

Development of a drug known as glutathionarsenoxide (or GSAO) was completed in 2003 but Prof Hogg was unable to get funding for early trials.

The drug aims to stop cancer tumors from developing blood vessels to continue their growth after initial cell development.

Work on the 17,000sq m building, which will be on the on the northern end of the university's Randwick campus, will begin in October this year with a finish date set for late 2009.

Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Professor Peter Smith, said the new centre would make a major contribution to cancer research and through its translational programs to better health outcomes in prevention and treatment of cancer.


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