A/Prof Tom John

The Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (ONJCRI) has benefitted from the auction of a home in East Ivanhoe on 27 May 2017.

The home in Wilfred Road was auctioned by Nelson Alexander Ivanhoe which, as part of the real estate business’s annual Foundation Day, donated professional fees of more than $19,000 from the auction to the institute’s lung cancer research program.

In 2017, lung cancer is expected to kill more than 9000 Australians, making it the leading cause of cancer death in Australia.

The head of ONJCRI’s lung cancer research laboratory, A/Prof Tom John, said there was an urgent need for research into the disease as only 15% of people diagnosed with lung cancer were expected to live five years beyond their diagnosis.

“Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in Australia, indeed in the western world, yet very little is spent on lung cancer research,” A/Prof John said. “Recent studies have successfully shown that targeted therapies, and now immunotherapies, can work in a minority of patients to slow down the disease. These studies have highlighted that the more research that is done into a cancer, the greater the chance of developing new treatments and hopefully improving survival rates”

A/Prof John said the donation from Nelson Alexander would go toward discovering new targets for treatment. “The field of immunotherapy has generated some exciting results in people with seemingly incurable cancers,” he said. “With this funding we will explore why immune therapies work in only 30 per cent of people with lung cancer in the hope of making these therapies effective in all people with lung cancer.”

Nelson Alexander’s Foundation Day was established by the Nelson Alexander Charitable Foundation and is the day that each of the company’s 16 offices donates the professional fee from one of their auctions to the local community. Since its inception in 2005, the foundation has distributed more than $2 million.