Funding boost for endometrial cancer research

QCGC Research is one of five recipients to be awarded an NHMRC Partnership grant in its latest funding round. We will receive $739,425 from the Federal Government and $260,000 from Cherish. This grant provides a welcome boost to our feMMe Molecular study focusing on a non-surgical treatment alternative for women with endometrial cancer. The funding will support the cost of the appointment of the postdoctoral research fellow and associated research costs for this project.

Currently, hysterectomy is the standard treatment for endometrial cancer, but it does not suit all women. Elderly or obese women can develop surgical complications at higher rates, and young women lose the opportunity to bear children. For these women, we need treatment options that are equally effective but less invasive.

Levonorgestrel delivered through an intrauterine device (LNG-IUD) is a novel substitute treatment to replace hysterectomy. In our feMMe clinical trial, this approach was well tolerated, and in 50 per cent of patients there was no remaining endometrial cancer found at six months. Unfortunately, we cannot predict yet who will benefit from this treatment. If we can determine who will respond, clinicians could specifically offer this treatment to women who will likely benefit.

In the latest project, researchers will use blood and tissue samples collected as part of the feMMe trial, to identify predictive biomarkers of LNG-IUD response that indicate whether a patient will or will not benefit from this new treatment. Using the findings, they will develop a personalised decision tool that clinicians and patients can use to decide on the best treatment.

We are grateful for the incredible support from our partners collaborating with us on this project, committing resources through both funding and in-kind support. We would not have been successful in the NHMRC Partnership grant without them, so we would like to acknowledge each partner:

  • Cherish Women’s Cancer Foundation has committed $260,000 over the next two years. This funding will specifically support the appointment of a postdoctoral research fellow position as well as some of the direct research costs.
  • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center will collaborate with the study investigators to evaluate endometrial tissue and blood samples from their studies as external validation.
  • Metro North Hospital and Health Service will provide access to clinical staff and patients to develop and test a personalised decision tool that clinicians and patients can use to decide what treatment they should receive for their endometrial cancer.
  • Pathology Queensland will provide access to clinical staff and resources so that tests that we develop in our laboratory can be used in clinical practice and benefit patients with endometrial cancer.
  • Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology will analyse tissue samples to identify biomarkers that indicate whether a patient will or will not respond to non-surgical management of their endometrial cancer.   

And last but not least, an extra special mention and thank you to the incredible patients that participated in our predecessor trial, feMMe.


Last updated:
29 March 2022