A national network of cardio-oncology hubs will be created after the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) project secured funding to investigate how cancer treatments can cause heart damage.
Associate Professor Rachel Conyers will lead the project to establish three cardio-oncology hubs across Australia after being awarded the grant under a joint initiative by the Heart Foundation and the Federal Government.
Associate Professor Conyers said the project would investigate how chemotherapy and other cardio-toxic cancer treatments damage the heart and arteries and cause strokes.
“The aim is to improve the cardiovascular outcomes of Australian cancer survivors through a national network of multidisciplinary cardio-oncology hubs that combine research with clinical services,” she said.
“These services will deliver centralised hubs of expertise, with protocolised risk assessment and guideline directed cardiac surveillance and enrolment within a suite of new research studies to improve cardio-oncology outcomes.”
The project was one of eight to share in $8 million worth of grants.
The research areas for the grants were based on the outcomes of an extensive two-year Heart Foundation survey of thousands of Australians, from people living with heart disease through to heart health professionals.
Key outcomes highlighted gaps in the early diagnosis, prevention and treatment of heart disease, as well as the positive benefits of sustained rehabilitation.
The survey also found that patients were seeking more support and advice regarding recovery and prevention of further heart events, while clinicians were focused on new ways of identifying and preventing cardiovascular disease before it took hold and caused damage.
Watch the researchers talking about their research projects here