Research into new treatments for a deadly disease
A group of James Cook University and national and international collaborating researchers have received a $5 million grant to advance management of a deadly disorder causing weakening of the main abdominal artery.
Distinguished Professor Jonathan Golledge, Head of the Queensland Research Centre for Peripheral Vascular Disease at JCU, will lead the project. He said 100,000 Australians and 20 million people worldwide have the problem, called abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), which causes approximately 200,000 sudden deaths globally per year due to rupture of the weakened artery.
“An AAA is a bulge in the part of your aorta that runs through the abdomen. The larger it grows the more likely it is to rupture and can burst, causing life-threatening internal bleeding. Currently there are only surgery treatments but these can be unsafe in some people and sometimes don’t effectively stop the risk of the artery bursting,” said Professor Golledge.
He said over the last decade scientists have been working on why the weakened arteries form and continue to grow.
“Our multidisciplinary team has designed a comprehensive, integrated program to test new ways to manage aneurysms,” said Professor Golledge.
He said the new $5 million National Health and Medical Research Council Synergy Grant will enable the team to further this work over the next 5 years.
“We would like to transform patient care through offering more personalised care and developing other effective treatment options which can be offered to people in whom surgery is less suited.
“We hope to develop drugs which are effective in preventing aneurysm bursting and can be used to avoid patients needing surgical treatment,” said Professor Golledge.
Distinguished Professor Jonathan Golledge