You might have spotted Dr Kylie Mason last month representing the team from Walter and Eliza Hall Institute which announced a new leukaemia drug.
In trials it cleared cancer in 23% of patients and led to partial remission in another 61%. She was everywhere from 3AW to The Project.
“It was a very busy day!” says Kylie, with typical understatement. And it was also a busy year with articles published in Nature Medicine, PNAS and Blood as principal investigator on eight current clinical trials in the areas of leukaemia, lymphoma, and adolescent and young adult cancer.
Her stem cell project, which was supported by a L’Oréal Fellowship, is nearly finished, and in the final stages of preparation for publication. Her lymphoma research continues.
“We are working to understand why there is a difference in lymphoma progression in mice related to the platelet count and the receptor for Thrombopoetin, a hormone which regulates platelet production,” Kylie says.
She’s also busy at the Royal Melbourne Hospital with her work as a Clinical Haematologist: Kylie is a leader in clinical trials for blood cancers and adolescent cancer treatments.
Kylie sits on Cancer Council Victoria’s Clinical Network’s Haemato-oncology committee, forging links across the health care sector and with government. She’s also part of the Adolescent and Young Adult interest group of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia, which addresses the unique needs of adolescent and young adult cancer patients and their caregivers.
Kylie was one of only two Australian haematologists to attend Clinical Research Education workshops in Vienna and Paris, and has been appointed principal investigator on clinical trials of a new BH3 mimetic agent, due to start early this year.
“My clinical trial load continues to increase,” Kylie says. “So I’m proud to have secured funding for a new position – a Clinical Nurse Co-ordinator in Adolescent and Young Adult Haematology at Royal Melbourne Hospital for the next four years.”
And Kylie still finds the time to act as an advocate for medical research.
In August, she spoke at the Susan Alberti Medical Research Foundation’s annual ball, an event which raised $400,000 for medical research.
She described her work but also shared her personal story – she is herself a leukaemia survivor, which drives her passion for research into cancers that affect young people. She continues to support the Leukaemia Foundation’s fundraising and outreach efforts and spoke at the annual ball of My Room, a children’s cancer charity.
Kylie is now based at the University of Melbourne in the Department of Medicine.
Learn more about Kylie's work here.