Research into the psychosocial aspects of genetic testing of women newly diagnosed with cancer has received major backing in two separate rounds of state and federal government funding.

UNSW won almost $4.5 million across 11 projects in the NSW government's Cancer Institute NSW grant scheme and the federal government's Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme.

The schemes aim to support innovative front line cancer researchers and clinicians.

Associate Professor Bettina Meiser from the Prince of Wales Clinical School received two grants each worth almost $600,000 to examine women's attitudes to, and the impact of, genetic testing shortly after being diagnosed with either ovarian or breast cancer.

Other major grant recipients include:

• Dr Sallie Anne Pearson from the Prince of Wales Clinical School - two grants worth $600,000 each; one to study the use, effectiveness and safety of cancer medicines; and the other into the use and impact of the standard cancer treatments in NSW hospitals.• Dr Viola Heinzelmann-Schwartz from the School of Women's and Children's Health - $695,500 for her work analysing anti-glycan antibodies for diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer;• Dr Jamie Fletcher from the School of Women's and Children's Health - $558,845 to investigate the identification of new therapeutic targets in neuoblastoma;• Dr Luke Hesson from the Prince of Wales Clinical School - $599,883 to investigate the molecular events associated with gene resilencing.

Cancer is the leading cause of premature death in Australia, claiming more than 40,000 Australians each year.

At current rates, one in three men and one in four women in Australia will develop cancer by the age of 75. By age 85, the risk increases to one in two for men and one in three for women.

UNSW is spearheading the fight against cancer through its work at the Prince of Wales Clinical School and the newly constructed Lowy cancer facility, which will be at the forefront of translational cancer research aimed at improving models of patient treatment.

Media contact: Steve Offner | 02 9385 8107 |