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.

Click here more information on the 2016 Hunter Cancer Research Symposium

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



ProNGF is a potential diagnostic biomarker for thyroid cancer

Sam Faulkner, Severine Roselli, Yohann Demont, Jay Pundavela, Genevieve Choquet, Philippe Leissner, Christopher Oldmeadow, John Attia, Marjorie M Walker, Hubert Hondermarck


The precursor for nerve growth factor (proNGF) is expressed in some cancers but its clinicopathological significance is unclear. The present study aimed to define the clinicopathological significance of proNGF in thyroid cancer. ProNGF expression was analysed by immunohistochemistry in two cohorts of cancer versus benign tumors (adenoma) and normal thyroid tissues. In the first cohort (40 thyroid cancers, 40 thyroid adenomas and 80 normal thyroid tissues), proNGF was found overexpressed in cancers compared to adenomas and normal samples (p<0.0001). The area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve was 0.84 (95% CI 0.75-0.93, p<0.0001) for cancers versus adenomas, and 0.99 (95% CI 0.98-1.00, p<0.0001) for cancers versus normal tissues. ProNGF overexpression was confirmed in a second cohort (127 cancers of various histological types and 55 normal thyroid tissues) and using a different antibody (p<0.0001). ProNGF staining intensity was highest in papillary carcinomas compared to other histological types (p<0.0001) and there was no significant association with age, gender, tumor size, stage and lymph node status. In conclusion, proNGF is increased in thyroid cancer and should be considered as a new potential diagnostic biomarker.

Read the full article (PDF 5, 747KB)

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