Adelaide researcher wins cancer fellowship

Associate Professor Gordon Howarth and a young cancer patient.

Associate Professor Gordon Howarth and a young cancer patient.
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Monday, 1 December 2008

University of Adelaide cancer researcher, Associate Professor Gordon Howarth, has won the prestigious Sally Birch Fellowship in Cancer Control for his work in reducing the side effects of chemotherapy.

The Adelaide researcher faced a competitive national field to win the three-year Cancer Council Australia Fellowship worth $100,000 each year, commencing in 2009.

Associate Professor Howarth is a former Cancer Council SA Fellow and his discoveries in the use of natural therapies to reduce the potentially deadly side effects of chemotherapy have generated international interest.

Cancer Council SA Chief Executive Associate Professor Brenda Wilson said: "South Australia is home to some of the most talented scientists and clinicians in the nation."

"National funding for cancer research is highly sought after and fiercely competitive - Associate Professor Howarth has proven that his research is some of the most promising in Australia and we look forward to seeing the results of his work."

Associate Professor Howarth's research has revealed that natural therapies such as lyprinol (an extract from a New Zealand shell-fish), emu oil and grape seed extract are demonstrating great promise in relieving the symptoms of mucositis - an inflammatory side-effect caused by chemotherapy.

Mucositis is life-threatening and generally experienced by 40-60% of cancer patients, with almost 100% of patients undergoing more aggressive chemotherapy regimens.

"The condition limits the amount of chemotherapy a cancer patient can withstand. Eliminating mucositis would mean that patients can be given higher doses of chemotherapy, resulting in better treatment outcomes."

"This significant funding opportunity from the Cancer Council will greatly facilitate the development of new treatment strategies for mucositis, including the exciting clinical potential for specific 'probiotics' (health-promoting bacteria) to protect the intestine from injury," he said.

Associate Professor Howarth is a Research Fellow in the University of Adelaide's Discipline of Agricultural and Animal Science.


Contact Details

Associate Professor Gordon Howarth
Research Fellow
Discipline of Agricultural & Animal Science
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 7885

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762