Griffith University: Griffith alumnus honoured for oral cancer research

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A Griffith University graduate has been honoured with a prestigious Sunstar Perio Research Award at a recent world conference in Copenhagen.


Dr Manosha Perera was recognised by Sunstar Foundation at the EuroPerio10 congress for her thesis, Inflammatory Bacteriome and Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma, which showed associations of bacteria and fungi with the incidence of oral cancer in Sri Lanka, where cancer in the mouth is the most common cancer amongst men and the leading cause of cancer death in the country as a whole.

The EuroPerio10 is the world’s leading congress in periodontology and implant dentistry.

Dr Perera was awarded her Doctor of Philosophy in 2017.

Griffith University’s Professor Emeritus Newell Johnson, an internationally regarded oral health researcher, said he was “pleased” to be present with Dr Perera when she received the award, and that her research forms part program of an oral cancer research program he has led since 2005.

“We have shown that the microbiota – here a mixture of bacteria and fungi – both on and within oral cancer tissues are capable of contributing to the origin and progression of mouth cancer, probably through continued influence on inflammation,” Professor Emeritus Johnson said.

“We have shown in other work that similar changes in the microbiota can precede clinical evidence of the cancer – and thus have potential as a risk, or screening tool. Similar shifts in microbiota occur to some degree in users of smokeless (chewing) tobacco and areca nut, known to be the major cause in much of Asia.”

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