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Bone health - Grant success for the MSK Health CAG

Congratulations to Maridulu Budyari Gumal Musculoskeletal Health Clinical Academic Group (CAG) members Dr Geraldine Hassett, Associate Professor Chris White, Professor Jackie Center, Professor Lin Perry and Professor John Eisman who have achieved significant grant success in the last 12 months. A team of MSK CAG members (led by Professor Lin Perry) were awarded $ 900 000 through the MRFF to evaluate the implementation of service developments through Osteoporosis Refracture Prevention Clinics across hospitals in Sydney in July 2019. This was then followed in March 2020 by a further Commonwealth grant of $500 000 to promote consumer awareness of osteoporosis. 

The MSK Health CAG members have built upon the XRAIT technology developed by Associate Professor Chris White and his team prior to his involvement with the MSK Health CAG. This technology has increased the identification of minimal trauma fractures associated with osteoporosis using artificial intelligence software applied to X-ray images. Identification of osteoporosis has been increased three-fold as a result of this technology. Once identified, the wicked problem emerged of how to successfully treat the growing numbers of patients. The Osteoporosis Refracture Prevention (ORP) Clinics became a vital part of meeting this demand.

The ORP clinics have demonstrated that they are an effective means to assess, diagnose and prescribe appropriate therapy to prevent secondary fractures in patients with osteoporosis, ORP Clinics are an essential first step in prevention of refracture however they are the first of many steps. To really impact health outcomes and prevent refracture in osteoporosis, patients need to be educated and engaged with their treatments for long-term adherence, and they need monitoring through primary care. Plans are in progress on ways to develop and integrate these care components, including through these two funded projects.

The Osteoporosis Consumer Awareness Project will develop educational materials and promote bone health to both the young and old through high schools, community pharmacies and direct community events.

The importance of education around bone health is vital both for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. The successful bid for the Osteoporosis Consumer Awareness Grant was attributed to the multidisciplinary team who identified the potential of educating patients and improving adherence to Osteoporosis medications in a community pharmacy setting which remains an underutilised source of research in primary care. The educational components of this project are quite diverse and include educational packages developed for the growing teenager to be delivered through PDHPE lessons at school. This group needs to be made aware of the importance of weight bearing exercise and a good diet to ensure good bone health throughout their lifetime. The educational requirements of the older more vulnerable patients will require a different focus with greater emphasis on monitoring bone health, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and adherence to osteoporosis medications.

These two projects together strengthen the fight to improve bone health in Australia. 

First 2000 Days Care Connect - Grant Success for ELDoH CAG

Congratulations to Maridulu Budyari Gumal Early Life Determinants of Health Clinical Academic Group ((ELDoH CAG) members Ms Tania Rimes and Associate Professor Sue Woolfenden (Chief Investigators) who were awarded $840,547 through the Translational Research Grants Scheme by the New South Wales Health for their project entitled 'First 2000 Days Care Connect'.

Early/mid-career cancer researchers awarded Cancer Clinical Academic Group seed grants

Maridulu Budyari Gumal (SPHERE) Cancer Clinical Academic Group has committed $100,000 in new seed grants for two interdisciplinary projects led by early/mid-career researchers (EMCRs) to be undertaken in 2021.

Congratulations to the successful awardees and their teams.

New liquid biopsies could provide hope for brain cancer patients

Increasing the efficacy of brain cancer treatment traditionally requires access to tissue samples that can shed light on a tumour’s genetic makeup. But, with many malignancies buried deep inside essential areas of the brain, this tissue is often impossible to reach.

A new research project led by Associate Professor Therese Becker of the Ingham Institute is aiming to solve this problem. Using ‘liquid biopsies’ – that is, blood tests – the researchers hope to reveal critical information about individual patient tumours.