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Award recognises advancements in pancreatic cancer research

Five years since leading NSW cancer researcher Professor Rob Sutherland died from pancreatic cancer, Professor David Goldstein is recognised with an award in his honour for a career improving outcomes for people with the disease.

“It is a great honour to receive this prestigious award which is appropriately in memory of a great figure in Australian and international cancer research,” says Professor Goldstein.

I had the honour of knowing Professor Rob Sutherland and respecting his many achievements.

A leading researcher and clinician in the field of pancreatic cancer, Professor Goldstein received the Professor Rob Sutherland AO Make a Difference Award at the 2017 Premier’s Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research.

Professor Sutherland was an internationally-recognised cancer researcher whose pioneering work changed cancer treatment and improved the survival chances of people around the world.

He was Director of the Cancer Research Program at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research for 27 years, inaugural Director of The Kinghorn Cancer Centre and Senior Principal Research Fellow of the National Health and Medical Research Council.

This year’s award recognises Professor David Goldstein’s work improving our understanding and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Professor Goldstein is a senior staff specialist at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, and Director of the Translational Cancer Research Network, University of NSW.

In particular, his laboratory research has informed our understanding of how pancreatic cancer develops and spreads, and he has been instrumental in raising the profile of pancreatic cancer within the medical, surgical and radiation oncology professions, and the public.

What keeps Professor Goldstein motivated?

“Our patients—that’s easy,” he says. “It’s also getting that intellectual feedback from your colleagues in the laboratory who show that they’re onto something, and there’s a roadmap going forward.

“It’s the pleasure of assisting your patients; even when they succumb to the disease and helping them on their journey; and then the participation in clinical trials that change practice and get the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to put adjuvant treatment on the subsidised scheme…”

“All of that is what keeps me going.”

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, which is raising awareness and inspiring action to deliver better outcomes for this deadly disease.

Supporting pancreatic cancer research is changing lives

Supporting pancreatic cancer research is changing lives

For Professor Goldstein the award is especially meaningful because it recognises not only his work, but the many people across NSW striving to make improvements in pancreatic cancer.

“It is another example of the increased recognition that this underserved cancer is finally getting," he says.

“The support for our research and clinical trials really is paying dividends—it is changing the lives of people with the disease.

“While the dividends aren’t being delivered on a monthly basis, they are being delivered over time. They are real; they are tangible, but they’re incremental.

“As difficult and frustrating as the disease is, there has never been a more rewarding time for researchers and clinicians to be looking after people with pancreatic cancer.”

Find out more about how Professor Goldstein’s work is changing the lives of people with pancreatic cancer in NSW.

What keeps Professor Goldstein motivated?

“Our patients—that’s easy,” he says. “It’s also getting that intellectual feedback from your colleagues in the laboratory who show that they’re onto something, and there’s a roadmap going forward.

“It’s the pleasure of assisting your patients; even when they succumb to the disease and helping them on their journey; and then the participation in clinical trials that change practice and get the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to put adjuvant treatment on the subsidised scheme…”

“All of that is what keeps me going.”

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, which is raising awareness and inspiring action to deliver better outcomes for this deadly disease.