Dr Susan Woods

Tracking a new drug for colorectal cancer

Susan is a part of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Biology Group at South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) at the University of Adelaide.

The research

It is expected that colorectal cancer will become the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia in 2017*. Sadly, many sufferers present with the disease at an advanced stage, making it difficult to treat.

Susi's team aims to discover whether colorectal - or bowel - cancer can be prevented by a drug that supports cells in the intestinal lining to stop tumours forming.

This Cure Cancer Australia grant has enabled more extensive studies for Susi and the team and, potentially, a clinical trial.

Excitingly, these research outcomes may also apply to other cancer types -“so our work may have wider significance outside colorectal cancer,” she says.

Moved and inspired

Susi, who has had first-hand experience caring for a family member with metastatic cancer, is moved and inspired by the support that Cure Cancer Australia and their fundraisers give to projects like hers.

“This makes it imperative for me that the research we do is cutting-edge, innovative and produces real outcomes for patients,” she says.

Susi is also driven by the experience of meeting a group of young cancer survivors earlier in her career. “They had amazing stories to tell and did so in an unassuming, giving way,” she says.

“Their positive outlook and resilience were a powerful reminder that as researchers we have to provide them with better treatment options.” 

Outside of work, Susi enjoys spending time with her partner and two young children. She enjoys going to the beach, visiting the family farm and playing hockey.


Susan is funded by Cure Cancer Australia through the Cancer Australia Priority-driven Cancer Support Scheme. Her grant is solely funded by The Can Too Foundation.


*Source - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare