In Papua New Guinea, 1500+ women die every year from childbirth-related causes – 80 times higher than in Australia. And these deaths are, mostly, preventable.
We are attempting to understand the connection between chronic inflammation and cancer.
We are investigating how the products of inflammation from inflammatory leucocytes influence the development or function of cancer cells.
We have identified a number of surface molecules on cancer cells that are known to normally stimulate inflammatory cells. Of particular interest are the inflammatory Th17 cells which have a critical role in gut inflammation and usually protect against gut microbes.
However for reasons that are not clear in some situations, Th17 cells establish a chronically inflamed environment which is conducive to the development or persistence of cancer.
We are attempting to establish if there is a connection to cancer development or enhancement of existing cancer disease.