KATHRYN Kosloff is about to make a unique donation to help homegrown cancer research in Ballarat: a small part of herself.
Ms Kosloff had planned to be dancing with friends at the gold ball for Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute early next month. Instead, Ms Kosloff must undergo a personal medical procedure that got her thinking how she could still contribute.
So, Ms Kosloff first asked her sister Tamsin Wesley, who is a PhD candidate with FECRI and researching ovarian cancer.
The procedure will allow for Ms Kosloff to donate healthy tissue samples for medical research in Ballarat. This will allow for researchers to compare healthy cells to cancer cells.
It is also an incredibly personal decision for Ms Kosloff whose mother and mother-in-law have both been cancer patients of FECRI honourary director George Kannourakis.
No-one asked me about a tissue donation...it certainly isn't part of the general conversation for surgery but this was a chance when I could help.Kathryn Kosloff
"I'm very aware of FECRI and what they do. No-one asked me about a tissue donation...it certainly isn't part of the general conversation for surgery but this was a chance when I could help," Ms Kosloff said.
"There's a generation in our family heavily affected by cancer. Probably back when a lot were diagnosed there was not a lot of research. This is so important to help find more treatment options."
FECRI in its early version opened 21 years ago in what was the vision of Ballarat teenager Fiona Elsey, who died from a rare cancerous tumour in her stomach. Fiona had been interested in the research work of her oncologist Dr Kannourakis and championed for cancer research in her hometown.
Tissue from Fiona was the first donated to Ballarat cancer research and is still used in the laboratory.
FECRI's tissue bank and particularly the access for PhD students is the envy of the institute's visiting international professors. They often remark how rare it was for students to have time with a sample for their research.
The FECRI tissue bank has five tanks, each containing six racks holding eight boxes for tissue samples. The bank has almost 4000 patient samples on hand for their 10 senior scientific staff and 10 PhD students from Federation University.
Professor Kannourakis said tissue donations made their research work possible, including healthy samples like Ms Kosloff was about to give, but more were always needed.
FECRI's internationally recognised research is helping to establish new treatment targets in bowel cancer, new immunotherapy targets for ovarian cancer and methods to isolate new viruses.
Anyone interested in making a cancer or healthy tissue donation is encouraged to call FECRI: 5331 3101.
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