PhD candidate, Dr Rajdeep Das, was selected from six finalists as the recently announced winner of The Hospital Research Foundation’s 50th Anniversary Science Award. Rajdeep is completing his final year of his PhD in the Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories, School of Medicine, at the University of Adelaide. He is receiving a PhD scholarship top-up from the FFCMH and is supervised by Dr Luke Selth and Professor Wayne Tilley.
Raj’s research aims to identify sensitive biological markers (biomarkers) that can predict response to the treatment modalities available for men with prostate cancer who progress to advanced disease. Raj aims to investigate molecules in circulating tumour cells (CTCs); cells that has shed from the primary tumour or metastatic lesions and circulates in the blood stream. CTCs can be readily and repeatedly obtained through a simple blood collection. Better biomarkers predicting treatment response will not only assist doctors in determine what drug will have the most benefit for that patient but also what sequence of the drugs, may be optimal, given that prostate cancers become drug resistant.
The THRF described Rajdeep’s research as opening up new and exciting avenues for personalised cancer medicine for men being treated for prostate cancer, ensuring that men receive the maximum benefit from the drug prescribed to them. The Awards were decided by public vote.