An early career researcher and an Honours student from The University of Western Australia are among the winners in this year's annual Cancer Council Western Australia research grants.
Dr Cornelia Bertram, from the UWA School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, will receive $24,000 towards her research into improved tea tree oil based formulations that can eradicate cancer cells and be used to treat superficial and deep skin cancers more efficiently.
"My research will also cover how this treatment works by examining what happens at the genetic level of cancer cells after they are treated with tea tree oil," Dr Bertram said.
Ultimately Dr Bertram, who works in collaboration with the tea tree oil industry of Australia, hopes her research will lead towards the development of a better topical treatment for common skin cancers such as basal and squamous cell carcinomas rather than the existing surgical treatment.
"Hopefully this grant will help translate our research, which has been a five year project so far, from the laboratory into a clinical trial," she said.
Jonathon Thompson, a UWA bio-physics student, has been awarded a $7,500 Honours Scholarship towards his research into dose calculation for radiotherapy and brachytherapy for prostate cancer treatment, which involves use of a CT image of a patient. More accurate doses mean more effective treatment and fewer side-effects for a patient.
The Cancer Council's Early Career Grants are aimed at supporting the work of the best and brightest young cancer researchers.
The grants are part of a record $2.7 million in research funding announced by the Cancer Council in Perth.
A full list of the grants and Fellowships awarded for 2012 is available from the Cancer Council.