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Daffodil Day’s Flower Power funds ground-breaking cancer research into Immunotherapy


Over the past ten years, exciting discoveries in immunotherapy are offering some patients alternative treatments to chemotherapy and radiation. 

Immunotherapy is revolutionising cancer treatment, particularly for diseases such as melanoma. However, immunotherapy is yet to make a substantial impact on the management of other deadly cancers such as advanced breast cancer.  

Associate Professor Alexander Swarbrick wants to understand why this is the case. It’s something he and his team hope to change with the help of Cancer Council funding. 

Our study aims to develop new immunotherapy strategies for metastatic breast cancer, thereby reducing the mortality of this disease,

said A/Prof Swarbrick.

This research is significant for so many people. Tragically, advanced breast cancer – which is breast cancer that has spread – still poses a huge challenge for doctors and patients, with more than 3000 Australian women dying every year from it. A/Prof Swarbrick and his team believe their research could provide a breakthrough. 

“Patients with triple negative breast cancers have a poor prognosis, in large part because treatment approaches have advanced very slowly. We want to understand the cellular makeup of metastatic breast cancer, in particular, to understand the immune cells that reside there.” 

A/Prof Swarbrick’s research has already come a long way, thanks to Cancer Council’s generous supporters, who help fund his team’s breakthroughs.  

“This research is showing us that what we once thought of as one cell type is in reality a diversity of cell types, which will have a significant impact on how we tailor treatments in future.” 

New treatments such as those A/Prof Swarbrick and his team are looking into, will improve quality of life for women undergoing treatment for advanced breast cancer, and increase their likelihood of survival. 

For young women like Bianca, who had a severe reaction to the drugs administered during her strenuous treatment for grade 3 stage 2b triple positive breast cancer, advancements in immunotherapy could be life changing.  

Radiation. It was horrendous. 30 rounds, 30 days and no less than 30 minutes being spent in a cold radiotherapy treatment room with nothing but my own thoughts. It was extremely difficult, to say the least,

said Bianca

Read Bianca’s story

Facing an advanced cancer diagnosis is challenging enough, without adding on the emotional and physical repercussions of such intensive treatment. 

Together, we can be the power behind the flower this Daffodil Day. Your donations help researchers such as A/Prof Swarbrick uncover new and better ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer. 





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