Ms Orla McNally is the current Head of the Oncology Unit at the Royal Women’s Hospital and on the Women’s Cancer Foundation Board. She is absolutely committed to providing the world’s best practice Gynaecological Oncology Services to the women of Victoria.
As part of this work, clinical research is a high priority in order to continue to work towards the prevention, early detection and best possible treatment of ovarian cancer. As many women as possible are enrolled in clinical trials to try and determine which treatments are the most successful and cause the least impact on quality of life.
Dr Deborah Neesham, who is also on the Board of the Women’s Cancer Foundation, also works in the oncology unit at the Royal Women’s Hospital, and has been involved in the clinical research undertaken there over the last 15 years. She is also passionately committed to improving the outcomes for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Last year we had some exciting laboratory developments into ‘targeted’ therapies—specific drugs targeted at particular molecular or genetic changes within cancer cells. These therapies have been tested as treatments to prolong remission in ovarian cancer. Two clinical trials involving our patients at the Royal Women’s and other Australian and international patients have both shown success in this area, and furthermore, at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in early 2011, this approach was also found to be successful following recurrence of the disease. So exciting to all of us in the research field!
We are in the midst of a time of great change in medicine—a time where discoveries in laboratories are quickly translated into new ways to care for patients with cancer.