Friday, October 30th, 2009
A new $2.95 million Brumby Labor Government grant is helping Victorian researchers collaborate to find an alternative to silicon in breast reconstruction after mastectomy.

Innovation Minister Gavin Jennings said the project was important in the treatment and recovery of women with breast cancer.

“The Brumby Labor Government is taking action to help researchers find a procedure to reconstruct breasts after mastectomy that avoids using silicon,” Mr Jennings said.

“The technique involves the insertion of a customised biodegradable chamber which is contoured to match the woman’s natural breast shape within which the permanent fat found in breasts can be grown.

“Where there is insufficient fat, the researchers intend to develop Myogel, a muscle derived tissue that induces fat tissue production. This technique provides a safe and more natural way of reconstructing the breast.”

The Australian Tissue Engineering Centre will lead the breast reconstruction project in partnership with Anatomics, Cogentum, Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, the University of Melbourne’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine Tissue Bank.

The project is one of 10 new health projects being funded under the $41 million Victoria’s Science Agenda (VSA) Investment Fund, part of the Brumby Labor Government’s innovation statement.

The other health projects to be funded under the VSA Investment Fund are:
• Australian Collaborative Care Cluster for chronic disease;
• Collaboration to develop next generation pharmaceutical formulations;
• High-value clinical products for oncology diagnosis and therapy;
• Electronic tracking for cryogenic storage of cord blood and stem cells;
• Capturing the therapeutic value of dairy bioactives;
• A continence management technology system;
• Nanosecond laser treatment for vision loss from age-related macular degeneration;
• Early stage ovarian cancer diagnosis; and
• The Victorian stroke telemedicine program for rural and regional Victoria.

Mr Jennings said that breast cancer survivors can experience a range of difficulties, ranging from physical limitations to psychosocial problems. Self esteem derived from feeling better about their bodies through breast reconstruction was an important factor in their recovery.

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Australia. More than 13,600 new cases are expected this year while around 106 Australian men are also expected to be diagnosed,” he said.

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Lyall Johnson

P: 03 9651 5799
M: 0400 422 142


Victorian researchers collaborate to find an alternative to silicon in breast reconstruction after mastectomy.


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