Research impact

Since 2012, Cherish has invested more than $480,000 in several clinical trials and research programs developed by Australian researchers through the Queensland Centre for Gynaecological Cancer Research (QCGC Research).

There is no doubt, this investment has resulted in kinder treatments for women with gynaecological cancer and saved lives.

Here are some of the breakthroughs that Cherish has helped to fund.

feMMe – Improving the treatment for women with early-stage endometrial cancer

Cherish funding helped to start this Australian research project. The feMMe trial aims to treat obese women with early-stage endometrial cancer less invasively with the use of an intra-uterine device combined with a weight-loss program and a diabetes drug. The potential benefits include fewer hospital bed days, less radical surgery, fewer complications and lower costs to patients. Importantly, it will also allow more women to retain their fertility. This trial has finished. The research team is now analysing the results and planning the next phase of this research.

ENDO-3 – the risks and benefits of sentinel node biopsy

ENDO-3 is a world-first randomised clinical trial investigating the benefits and risks of sentinel node biopsy as during the treatment of women with endometrial cancer. The trial aims to address a knowledge gap over 30 years old! Ultimately, the trial’s outcomes will determine the value of continuing (or not) the procedure in early-stage endometrial cancer treatment.

Since 2021 when ENDO-3 started, 13 surgeons (11 Australian and two international) have been accredited, and 109 patients, mainly from Queensland, have been enrolled. Over the past 18 months, Cherish has committed more than $130,000 to this vital research.

IMAGE – improving clinical management worldwide

The IMAGE trial is the first study in Australia that directly compares CT (Computed Tomography) with PET-CT (Positron Emission Tomography) scanning to determine the most effective medical imaging tool for patients with ovarian cancer outside the abdomen. The outcome could change the clinical management of patients with advanced ovarian cancer worldwide. The project has completed the enrolment of 84 patients and entering its final phase when data is analysed and the findings disseminated.

LACE – Less invasive surgery recommended for hysterectomies

The LACE trial has had a significant impact on how doctors perform gynaecological surgery in Australia and worldwide. The Laparoscopic Approach to Carcinoma of the Endometrium (LACE) trial examined the treatment of endometrial cancer via a laparoscopic (key-hole) hysterectomy versus traditional, open-abdominal surgery.

LACE involved 760 patients and 27 gynaecological cancer surgeons from 21 cancer centres throughout Australia and New Zealand over 15 years. It showed that women with endometrial cancer who undergo a laparoscopic hysterectomy have, an equivalent overall and disease-free survival rate compared to women receiving an abdominal hysterectomy.

To help researchers continue projects such as ENDO-3, feMMe and IMAGE, please donate now to Cherish.