We have the target that will stop aggressive melanoma in its tracks.

You can support this innovative research and be part of the solution.

Australia has the highest rates of melanoma in the world.

Researchers at the Centre for Cancer Biology (an alliance between the University of South Australia and SA Pathology), have discovered a new protein which dramatically accelerates the spread of melanoma - a disease that is almost universally fatal if it spreads to vital organs.

Forty per cent of newly diagnosed melanomas express this protein, called desmoglein-2 or DSG-2. For people with DSG-2 on their melanoma cells, they will be two and a half times more likely to die within 10 years.

Our research team is developing new detection tools and targeted treatments that will be specifically tailored to deactivating this protein.

In fact, I’m proud to let you know that our initial lab work has shown how to identify and block DSG-2 using nanotechnology. By injecting a cancer cell seeking molecule, we can find these melanoma cells and attack them.

In Australia, every day 50 people are diagnosed with melanoma and three to four people will die. We have the target in sight but need your help to progress our important work, and we need to act fast.

We are initially seeking $150,000 to progress our pre-clinical laboratory work. When you donate today, 100% of your support will enable us to develop innovative treatments to deactivate this protein and stop the cancer.

Your donation will make an impact:

Tick   $70 provides an hour of research

Tick   $700 a full day of research

Tick   $1,000 goes toward developing a histology test to inform a patient if their melanoma is DSG-2 positive or not.

Professor Claudine Bonder, Head Vascular Biology and Cell Trafficking Laboratory

Human melanoma showing DSG2 negative and DSG2 positive
Human melanoma showing DSG2 negative
and DSG2 positive


University of South Australia Bradley Building

UniSA’s Bradley Building

UniSA’s Fight Against Cancer

UniSA’s cancer research brings together more than 300 leading biomedical, genetic and pharmacological experts located in the UniSA Bradley Building on North Terrace. With so many minds at work, the effort is moving fast, and yet, for many cancer patients, it’s still not fast enough.

Although extraordinary advances have been made through groundbreaking research, cancer continues to exert an enormous toll. We need your help to be in a position where we can bring our world-leading discoveries and treatments to patients sooner so we can save lives faster.



Together there is more we can do

When you donate to the University of South Australia Cancer Research Fund, 100% of your gift goes directly to the researchers - with no admin fees or hidden costs.

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Call +61 8 8302 7375

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Contact us

Get in touch with our Advancement Services team by email, or contact a specific staff member