Hunter Cancer Research Alliance

As a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional alliance, the Hunter Cancer Research Alliance (HCRA) functions to provide capacity building, funding and strategic support to cancer research across the translational research continuum – from basic research through clinical trials to behavioural, implementation and health services research.

With the support of our partnering institutions, executive leaders and a membership that consists of 250+ cancer-focused researchers, we are working to promote the excellence of cancer research in the Hunter and ultimately improve cancer patient outcomes in our region and beyond.

HCRA Director, Professor Stephen Ackland, explains the work of HCRA in the video below:


International Journal of Pharmaceutics

Albumin Hybrid Nanoparticles Loaded with Tyrosine Kinase A Inhibitor GNF-5837 for Targeted Inhibition of Breast Cancer Cell Growth and Invasion

Vahid Heravi Shargh, Hubert Hondermarck, Mingtao Liang


Novel albumin hybrid nanoparticles (Alb-HNPs) loaded with tyrosine kinase A (TrkA) inhibitor GNF-5837 were prepared and evaluated for antineoplastic efficacy in a panel of breast cancer cell lines. The nanomedicines (GNF-Alb-HNPs, hydrodynamic diameter ~150 nm) were formed through a unique polyelectrolyte complexation process where albumin and GNF-5837 were encapsulated by a stabilizing layer of oppositely charged chitosan and dextran sulfate polysaccharides. GNF-Alb-HNPs showed an excellent colloidal stability and a sustained drug release over more than 24 hr. We found that these nanomedicines inhibited TrkA phosphorylation and downstream mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling in breast cancer cells specifically, resulting in anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects. Moreover, the migration and invasion activities of cancer cells were dramatically suppressed and the inhibitory effects were much more prominent with GNF-Alb-HNPS than the drug
alone. These results show that the GNF-Alb-HNPs may represent a novel approach for targeted breast cancer therapy.

Read the full article (PDF 1.63MB)

February: Thompson, E.R. et al (2016) Panel Testing for Familial Breast Cancer: Calibrating the Tension between Research and Clinical Care. Journal of Clinical Oncology 10.1200/JCO.2015.63.7454.

March: Bailey, P. et al (2016) Genomic analysis identify molecular subtypes of pancreatic cancer. Nature 532:47-52 doi 10.1038/nature16965

April: Hall, A.E. et al (2016) To adhere or not to adhere: Rates and reasons of medication adherence in hematological cancer patients. Critical Reviews in Oncology/hematology 97:247-262.

May: Twyman, L. et al (2016) Electronic Cigarettes: Awareness, Recent Use, and Attitudes within a sample of Socioeconomically disadvantaged Australian Smokers. Nicotine & Tocacco Research 18(5):670-677

June: Tracey, E et al (2016) How can we ensure that people with lung cancer living in rural and remote areas are treated surgically when appropriate. Medical Journal of Australia 204(9): 330-330.e1

July: Smith, A.M. et al (2016) Activation of protein phosphatase 2A in FLT3+ acute myeloid leukemia cells enhances the cytotoxicity of FLT3 tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Oncotarget, Advanced Publications 2016

August: Faulkner, S. et al (2016) ProNGF is a potential diagnostic biomarker for thyroid cancer. Oncotarget 7(19): 28488-28497.

September: Goulooze. S.C. et al (2016) Monte Carlo simulations of the clinical benefits from therapeutic drug monitoring of sunitinib in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumours. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol (2016) 78:209-2016.

October: Kristen McCarter et al (2016) Smoking cessation care among patients with head and neck cancer: a systematic review. BMJ Open 2016 6:e012296 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012296

The University of Newcastle, Australia Hunter New England Local Health District Calvary Mater Newcastle Hunter Medical Research Institute Cancer Institute NSW