Grant into Rare Cancer Awarded

New research into rare and neglected cancers to accelerate the pace of new treatment discoveries is always priority for the AGITG. The Idea Generation Workshops identify areas of unmet need or gaps in research, and enable the development of AGITG-led clinical trials to fill these gaps.

To address this gap, AGITG collaborated with Pancare Foundation to host the 2021 Cholangiocarcinoma Idea Generation Workshop.

We are delighted to announce that Pancreatic and Hepatobiliary Surgeon, Dr Daniel Croagh, has been named the recipient of the AGITG-Pancare Cholangiocarcinoma Idea Generation Workshop Grant. As a community funded grant, generously made possible by supporters of the GI Cancer Institute and Pancare Foundation, Dr Croagh was extremely thankful to the donations that made this grant possible.

“Thank you very much for your support and we really hope that we can provide some improvements in the way we diagnose and characterise people with these rare cancers, so we can get them onto novel therapies and trials,” Dr Croagh said.

The $100,000 grant will go towards developing Dr Croagh’s comprehensive molecular profiling of advanced biliary cancer study. The idea is to assess the feasibility and usefulness of comprehensive molecular analysis of biopsy material obtained from patients with advanced cholangiocarcinoma, at the time of diagnosis, and use this to select patients for targeted therapy.

“It’s wonderful and I was very excited our project was selected. I was very grateful because as clinicians we’re often busy with clinical work and it can be difficult to extend some of this work into the research space. This grant will provide us with an opportunity to help facilitate the introduction of novel treatments in this area.”

“Cholangiocarcinoma is a difficult area to enrol people in trials because it can be hard to get adequate tissue for us to identify potential groups of patients who might benefit from specific therapies. So, the focus of our research is to see whether or not using minimally invasive biopsies, we can obtain enough tissue for comprehensive molecular profiling.”

Dr Croagh believes Idea Generation Workshops and grants like these are vital for making progress in the rare cancers space and bringing awareness to the need for more research.

“This grant will allow to test a novel idea and in doing so generate data that can potentially be applied to larger grants in the future. It’s a fantastic way to facilitate early ideas and bring attention to rare cancers.”

Dr Croagh was already working in this space with pancreatic cancer when he saw the call for Idea Generation Workshop concepts, recognising it as an opportunity to extend his research.

“It’s clearly an area we struggle with and therefore I think there are plenty of avenues to improve the diagnosis and treatment. It is a bit easier in pancreatic cancer because it’s easier to obtain tissue and a diagnosis, so this is the next level in terms of difficulty and the next area to apply these strategies.”

We look forward to reporting on Dr Croagh and his team progress with this important trial.

Learn more about our 2022 Idea Generation Workshops