THIS is the moment when one cancer cell is in the final stage of splitting in two and growing the disease, despite chemotherapy.
The process, captured by Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute, is rapid and unregulated and a defining feature in ovarian cancer the Ballarat team is working to block.
FECRI scientists are working with a promising drug to halt the process that enables cancer cells to get to this point, both stopping the cancer from growing and enhancing the killer potential in chemotherapy.
Researchers have been working through the coronavirus lockdowns in tighter regulations in their secure Lydiard Street laboratory because, as FECRI honourary director George Kannourakis says, cancer does not stop.
These images offer insight on to what they are facing and working to stop.
Both images show different molecules cancer cells use to survive and thrive amid chemotherapy.
Orange dots in the image above are a receptor, which can be found in the outer edges of cells in the membranes and receive 'grow' signals from their surrounds, according to FECRI.
They relay the via the molecule (the green dots) that can move about freely inside the cell. This relaying molecule enters the cell nucleus (blue) and activates the signal causing the cancer cell to divide and multiply.
FECRI scientists are working with a drug to cut communication between the receptor and relaying molecule in ovarian cancer.
The Institute, in collaboration with New York-based Albert Einstein College of medicine, also published a study on ovarian cancer in a high-profile international journal earlier this year. Their study found an inhibitor drug that when combined with chemotherapy created a stronger response against the disease known as the silent killer and its high rate of chemo-resistant recurrence in women.
FECRI has a strong focus on the immune system and its response to cancer and other auto-immune conditions. Most notably, the Institute launched its new breast cancer research project in March.
The Institute also provides vital services for patients in clinical trials and has continued to collect samples from biopsies, pathology and operations through the pandemic.
FECRI's laboratory teams have also been on standby to assist in tackling the fight against coronavirus if called on.
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