Researchers test cancer’s psychological impacts

Source: TheHerald

Professor Afaf Girgis from the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research is investigating the psychological impact of cancer. Picture: Marina Neil
THE psychological health of cancer patients has become the primary focus for a team of researchers at the Ingham Institute in Sydney and the University of Newcastle.

While the physical impacts of cancer are broadly researched, the psychological impact of the disease has been under-investigated according to Ingham Institute psychological-oncology group leader Professor Afaf Girgis.

Professor Girgis and Professor Brian Kelly, from the University of Newcastle, aim to develop a model of psychological care for patients with urological, head and neck cancers at John Hunter Hospital.

Professor Girgis, who is based in Newcastle, said the model would be implemented at John Hunter Hospital first, with the idea of rolling it out to other areas of the country.

Initial studies with urological, head and neck cancers patients at the hospital has revealed a wide range of issues and concerns in relation to their illness. These can include disfigurement and body issues for head and neck patients.

The findings were presented at the Hunter Medical Research Institute’s Translational Cancer Research Conference, which began at Newcastle City Hall yesterday and runs until tomorrow.

‘‘The needs of urological and head and neck cancer patients are very high and would benefit from having their own specific model of care in hospitals and cancer therapy units,’’ Professor Girgis said.

The next phase will involve testing the model with patients and healthcare professionals to evaluate its effectiveness in reducing levels of patient distress.

A key element is improving access to information, with the project providing an iPad app to patients in hospital to help them access resources to ease their psychological distress..

‘‘Initial clinician and patient feedback has shown that having access to electronic resources like iPads where patients can go online to address health questions and concerns quickly and easily can help to reduce their levels of distress,’’ Professor Girgis said.

The final results of the study will be available by the end of next year.

The Ingham Institute is a non-profit research organisation in Sydney, which was established at Liverpool Hospital.

Ange Postecoglou appointed Socceroos coach

Source: FootballAustralia

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has today announced that Ange Postecoglou has been appointed Head Coach of the Socceroos.

The five-year agreement runs until August 2018 and will see Postecoglou takes charge of the Socceroos at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, the 2015 AFC Asian Cup Australia and in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian qualification matches.

Postecoglou, 48, will officially start in the position next Monday 28 October and his first match as Head Coach will be against Costa Rica at Allianz Stadium, Sydney on Tuesday 19 November (7.30pm kick off).
Tickets will be on sale to the Football Family from next Monday 12 noon and to the public on Friday 1 November. For details visit

FFA Chairman Frank Lowy said he was pleased that his long-held ambition to appoint an Australian as coach of the Socceroos had been realised.

“It was always our plan that one day an Australian would be appointed coach, and I said precisely that when we appointed the previous coach,” said Lowy.

“But I have never taken the view that the coach should be an Australian for the sake of having an Australian. I have always believed we should get the best person we can for the job.

“The fact that Ange is the best qualified, and an Australian, achieves our objective.”

FFA CEO David Gallop said today the appointment of Postecoglou was symbolic of how far the game has come in the past decade under the leadership of Frank Lowy and his Board.

“I’m delighted that the game has reached the point where the best-qualified coach for the Socceroos happens to be someone who’s learned his football in this country and who lives and breathes the mission of Australian football,” said Gallop.

“It shows how the era of full-time professionalism in the Hyundai A-League and qualification for three consecutive FIFA World Cups is driving technical excellence.

“In Ange, the Socceroos will have a Head Coach who has exceptional experience and achievements on the domestic and international stage. In any recruitment situation you consider the overall package that the person brings to the role.

“We wanted the best person for the job of coaching the Socceroos to highest possible standards. It’s also very significant that Ange has a deep understanding of the culture and passion of Australian football. He’s a leader in every sense.

“The FFA Board have moved quickly on the preferred candidate and with the upcoming camp and match in November it was prudent to secure Ange’s services this week.”

Ange Postecoglou said he felt honoured and humbled to be chosen as Head Coach of the Socceroos.

“The Socceroos belong to the people of this nation,” said Postecoglou. “It’s my job to make sure we represent all that’s good in Australian football. We need to strive for greatness, to play with spirit and have an unwavering belief in our mission.

“I was proud to represent my country as a player and I have the same immense feeling of pride today. I thank Frank Lowy, David Gallop and the FFA for having the faith in my ability to do this job successfully.”

David Gallop has thanked the Melbourne Victory for agreeing to release Postecoglou from his contract with the Hyundai A-League club.

“The nation came calling for Ange and that left the Melbourne Victory Chairman Anthony Di Pietro and his Board of Directors with a decision to make,” said Gallop.

“Victory has done the right thing by Australian football and the club is to be commended.”


Nationality: Australian
Date of Birth: 27 August 1965

Club playing career:
1984-1993 South Melbourne (NSL) 193 games (19 goals)
1984 NSL Premiers (South Melbourne)
1984 NSL Champions (South Melbourne)
1985 NSL Premiers (South Melbourne)
1990/91 NSL Champions (South Melbourne)
1992/93 NSL Premiers (South Melbourne)

Representative playing career:
1986-88 Socceroos 4 games (0 goals)

Coaching career:
1996 – 2000 South Melbourne (NSL)
2000 – 2007 Australian U20 National Team
2008 Panachaiki
2009 – 2012 Brisbane Roar (Hyundai A-League)
2012 – 2013 Melbourne Victory (Hyundai A-League)

Coaching achievements:
1997/98 National Soccer League Premiers (South Melbourne)
1997/98 National Soccer League Champions (South Melbourne)
1998/99 National Soccer League Champions (South Melbourne)
1999 Oceania Club Champions (South Melbourne)
2000 Coached South Melbourne at FIFA Club World Championships
2010/11 Hyundai A-League Premiers (Brisbane Roar)
2010/11 Hyundai A-League Coach of the Year
2011 Hyundai A-League Champions (Brisbane Roar)
2012 Hyundai A-League Champions (Brisbane Roar)
2013 Voted as Head Coach of the Foxtel A-League All Stars v Manchester United

New fire threatens homes west of Newcastle

Source: News

AN emergency warning has been issued for a fire west of Newcastle that may threaten the M1, the main road route between Sydney and Brisbane.

The NSW Rural Fire Service says the fire is burning in the area of Stockrington Road, west of the M1, and is heading towards Minmi.

Crews are working to protect homes and authorities warn the fire may threaten the motorway north of the Newcastle Link Road Interchange.

Emergency alert telephone messages are being sent to residents in the area, who are advised to seek shelter.

Earlier, Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told reporters in Sydney it would be hard to contain the blaze on such a hot, windy day.

“If they are not successful – and if they are it would be extraordinary given the weather conditions – we are likely to see warnings develop in the very near future,” he said.

Children were being evacuated from Minmi Public School to the local community centre, the RFS said.

The RFS later said the northbound lanes of the M1 had been closed at Minmi and the motorway is likely to close soon in both directions.

Diversions are in place off the Newcastle Link Road.

Ausgrid says about 450 homes in the Hunter region have lost power as a result of bushfires in the area.

A fire at Rusty Lane has cut power to 380 homes and businesses in Branxton while about 60 properties around Lenaghans Drive are without power as a result of the Stockrington Road fire.

The M1 is now closed in both directions.

The Minmi Public School, which was evacuated earlier, says on its Facebook page that all children have been accounted for.

Saving the Greek Monastery at Yellow Rock the St George Monastery

Η πύλη της Ιεράς Μονής Αγίου Γεωργίου του Βουνού πριν την πυρκαγιά


Greek Monastery in Yellow Rock.
Greek Monastery in Yellow Rock
Greek Monastery in Yellow Rock.

George Spiliotis spoke to the Greek Program from Blue Mountains giving information about the condition of the Greek Monastery in Yellow Rock.


The gate of the Monastery before the fires (St. George Monastery NSW)

Κινδύνευσε να καεί Ελληνορθόδοξο μοναστήρι στο Σίδνευ

Από την μεγάλη πυρκαγιά που ξέσπασε στη Νέα Νότια Ουαλία της Αυστραλίας κινδύνευσε η Μονή του Αγίου Γεωργίου, στο Yellow Rock στην περιοχή Blue Mountains του Σίδνευ.

Δυστυχώς το οίκημα που διαμένει ο πάτερ Κυριάκος, ιερέας της Μονής του Αγίου Γεωργίου, κάηκε ολοσχερώς και μαζί με αυτό πολλά βιβλία, εικόνες και όλα τα άμφια.

Ο ιερέας μαζί με μερικά άτομα που διέμεναν στο μοναστήρι αγωνίστηκαν σκληρά για να σώσουν το σπίτι αλλά μάταια. Επίσης, κάηκαν εξωτερικές τουαλέτες και υπόστεγα .

Ο Ξενώνας και οι εκκλησίες του Αγίου Γεωργίου, του Αγίου Ιωάννη του Θεολόγου και του Οσίου Χριστόδουλου απειλήθηκαν, ωστόσο γλίτωσαν από τη φωτιά .

Μέχρι στιγμής, οι αρχές δεν επιτρέπουν στους ανθρώπους να εισέλθουν.

Στην ανακοίνωση της Μονής παρακαλούνται οι πιστοί να αποφύγουν τις επισκέψεις στους χώρους της όσο είναι κλειστοί «γιατί είναι επικίνδυνο» και σημειώνεται ότι ο Επίσκοπος κ. Σεραφείμ θα κάνει σχετικές ανακοινώσεις για διεξαγωγή εράνου στις ελληνορθόδοξες εκκλησίες με στόχο την αποκατάσταση των ζημιών.

St. George Monastery

St. George Monastery

St. George Monastery


As you may have heard NSW was recently hit with the worst fire emergency this decade. Unfortunately this raging fire also went through the Monastery of St. George, Yellow Rock in the Blue Mountains.

The report so far is as follows:
At Approximately 1:00pm Thursday 17th October, with high temperatures and winds exceeding 110km/h and with no warning the fire which was near the Monastery suddenly was upon it.

Fr Kyriakos is the Abbott of the Holy Monastery of St George, Yellow Rock.

Fr. Kyriakos’ residence was completely burnt down and with it many books, icons and all vestments were lost. Father and a few men who were staying at the Monastery at the time fought hard to save the house but could not. Also external toilets and sheds were burnt.

The Xenona and the Churches of St. George, St. John the Theologιαn and St. Christodoulos were also under threat, all fought hard to save them and with the help of God and Panagia were spared from the fire.

So far the Monastery is not safe and authorities will not allow people to enter.

With more high temperatures and winds predicted this weekend, please lets all be joint as one family of Christ to pray for Fr. Kyriakos and everyone who lost their homes. May God bring relief to Yellow Rock and the surrounding area and protect the Monastery from further devastation.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia is taking up the initiative to help bring in donations, for Father Kyriakos and all the other victims affected.

The Archdiocese has opened a bank account to raise funds for the monastery.

People are urged to donate to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Property Trust – St. George Monastery, BSB: 082 057, Account Number: 616 960 042, Bank: NAB.

You can also donate to the Australian Red Cross, by calling 1800 811 700 or visiting

Jeff Fenech slams Anthony Mundine after losing $500k on cancelled fight

Source: TheDailyTelegraph

JEFF Fenech lost $500,000 on what he now claims is an irrefutable truth: “Anthony Mundine is the most hated Australian ever”.

Mundine is today at the centre of a sporting gaffe to rival Fine Cotton and Trevor Chappell bowling underarm after US great Shane Mosley sensationally withdrew from tonight’s scheduled bout at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

The controversial Redfern fighter has also been labelled “a bullshit artist” by Fenech after yesterday claiming little knowledge of what the Australian fight great had done to help save the fight, including a $350,000 cash payment when Mosley first threatened to walk in August.

Asked at a press conference if he felt sorry for the Marrickville Mauler, who all up has lost half-a-million dollars, Mundine laughed and said no.

“And, look, he can say what he likes,’’ Fenech said last night. “I now realise Anthony Mundine is the most hated Australian ever.

Anthony Mundine gets KO’d 1:08

Has there been any greater blow to Anthony Mundine’s career than being left at the altar by ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley? We’ve found a few…

“This fight, he just couldn’t sell it. Nobody cares anymore. I’m sure he thinks he will come out of this okay, but you saw his press conference, it was typical Mundine bullshit.

“He knew exactly what I’d done for this fight because we spoke about it. Often. I’m not worried about the money but when so many people helped him get to a bloke he never could’ve on his own . . . classless.”

Fenech revealed he was in his backyard on Monday night, about to fire up a barbecue, when he learned one of the most embarrassing gaffe’s in Australian sports history was already underway.

“I’d invited Sergio Mora, the sparring partner for Shane Mosley, over for dinner,” he says. “He walked into my backyard, shook my hand and said ‘Jeff, we’re going home first thing tomorrow’.

Paul Kent on Shane Mosley’s exit from Australia 7:46

Paul Kent reveals why ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley left Australia less than 48 hours before his fight with Anthony Mundine.

“Sergio knew I’d put up $500,000 and wanted to let me know. So what do you do . . . we sat down and had a barbecue.”

Mosley jetted out of Sydney early yesterday after agreed payments on his $1 million purse were not met. The dramatic disappearance topped a shambolic 15 months involving the US great, Mundine and embattled fight promoter Vlad Warton.

Seen as something of a ‘Last Chance Saloon’ for both fighters, the Sydney bout was first hatched last July – when Mundine linked with Warton for his US debut against American journeyman Bronco McKart.

While that bout drew only 286 paying customers, for an embarrassing $15,000 gate, the pair left Las Vegas talking dollar signs and a date with Mosley. And Warton, to his credit, made it happen.


SHOW ME THE MONEY: Jeff Fenech says he is out of pocket over the Mundine-Mosley farce.

Yet still the fight needed cash.

Enter Fenech.

With Warton unable to find a major sponsor, and Mosley already threatening to walk in August, Fenech generously stepped in and placed $350,000 into an escrow account.

“And now you’ve got Anthony coming out to say he’ll save the day,’’ Fenech laughs. “But why didn’t he put the money up this week? He could be fighting now. 


SPLIT in the camp: Anthony Mundine trains with Jeff Fenech before the fallout from the Mosley fight farce.

“It’s typical Mundine. I guess that is why nobody likes him.”

Beachmere, north of Brisbane, has Australia’s cheapest units

Source: TheCourier-Mail


UNITS in Beachmere, 38km north of Brisbane, are cheaper than anywhere else in Australia, according to a new report on Australia’s most expensive and cheapest property markets.

The RP Data Spring Buyers’ Guide analysed median unit values in 8700 suburbs across Australia.

Beachmere came in the cheapest with a median unit value of just $91,112.

But don’t expect to be buying a luxury waterfront penthouse for that sort of money.

The majority of the unit market in the suburb is retirement-style living.

Online property listing site, had only one property for sale around that price point, a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit in for $85,000.

It is rented for $240 per week, has air-conditioning, internal laundry and a wheelchair friendly bathroom.

The unit is part of a seniors independent living complex and is one street back from the beach. It also has a dining area and meals for residents and their guests, plus a community lounge area with a big-screen television.

Clermont in Mackay was next on the list nationally with its median unit value, $99,104.

There are only three units listed for sale in the suburb on and all are for more than $300,000.

Of the 407 suburbs analysed in the Brisbane’s housing market, 61 had a median value lower than $300,000. None were within the Brisbane City Council area, all were within the Logan and Redland council areas.

In the unit market, 272 suburbs were analysed, with 74 of those suburbs having a median unit price below $300,000.

Once again none were within the Brisbane City Council area, they were within Logan, Ipswich and Moreton Bay regions.

According to Tim Lawless of RP Data the greater Brisbane area had a large number of suburbs where the median value was lower than $300,000 but he said generally they were not close to the CBD.

Greater Brisbane’s cheapest house suburbs

Russell Island $209,504

Ebbw Vale $216,727

Leichhardt $217,920

Dinmore $223,056

Riverview $224,297

Greater Brisbane’s cheapest unit suburbs

Beachmere $91,112

Logan Central $170,755

Bundamba $171,997

Woodridge $175,922

Beenleigh $188,547

New clue to aggressive brain tumors


Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a biological marker that may help predict survival in people with deadly brain tumors. The researchers showed that when the marker is present at higher levels, brain cancers known as glioblastomas are more aggressive.

The cancer cells do not make the marker, a protein called F11R. Instead, it is made by noncancerous cells, called monocytes, found within the tumor. Monocytes normally support and protect healthy brain cells, but they also can provide critical support to tumors.

“Monocytes are very dynamic cells, and they can adapt to changing circumstances including the development of a tumor,” said senior author David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, the Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor of Neurology. “We need to better characterize the specific contributions of these cells to brain tumors, as well as to identify treatments that block their ability to help these cancers form and grow.”

The study recently is available online in PLOS ONE.

Glioblastomas are rare but are among the most dangerous tumors. Even with radiation and chemotherapy, the median survival rate is little more than a year.

Hoping to provide another avenue of attack for these cancers, Gutmann and his collaborators have been studying how non-cancerous cells contribute to brain cancer formation and growth.

In earlier studies, Gutmann has shown that monocytes are critical for the formation and continued growth of low-grade brain tumors in mice that resemble those arising in children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1).

Winnie W. Pong, PhD, a staff scientist in Gutmann’s laboratory, wanted to determine whether monocytes in the glioblastomas originate in the brain early in embryonic development or migrate into the brain from the bone marrow. Differences in where cells originate may affect their ability to support cancer development and growth.

To address this question, Gutmann turned to Elaine Mardis, PhD, co-director of The Genome Institute at Washington University, for help. Mardis has been a leader in developing techniques for sequencing RNA, the material cells use to copy protein-building instructions from DNA. The number of RNA copies of a gene present in a cell reflects how often the cell is using the gene to make its protein.

“We asked Elaine to apply new RNA sequencing techniques to very small samples of monocytes from normal mice and from mouse glioblastomas,” Gutmann said. “She and her colleagues at The Genome Institute accomplished a small tour de force to perform the analysis.”

F11R emerged as one of the best indicators of whether monocytes came from the brain or from bone marrow. F11R normally is made by monocytes that originate in the brain and not by those that come from bone marrow.
However, the scientists also learned that this distinction vanishes in glioblastomas, where both types of monocytes make F11R. Gutmann reasoned that the tumor may prompt this change, suggesting that the protein could be important to cancer cells.

“When we checked for connections between F11R levels and the aggressiveness of brain tumors, we found more F11R-expressing monocytes in malignant tumors relative to their more benign counterparts,” he said. “Moreover, even among the most malignant tumors we could use F11R to predict differences in patient survival rates.”

To find new treatments for these deadly cancers, Gutmann and his colleagues are working to identify factors made by monocytes that help the tumors grow.
“The idea that we may be able to starve brain cancer cells of critical growth factors produced by noncancerous support cells may one day lead to the development of additional strategies to combine with conventional chemotherapy or radiation to combat brain tumors in children and adults,” he said.

Funding from the National Cancer Institute (U01-CA160882 to DH and DHG; U01-CA141549 to DHG) and National Institutes of Health (NIH)(RC4-NS072916 to DHG) supported this research. WWP was partly supported by a grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation.

Pong WW, Walker J, Wylie T, Magrini V, Luo J, Emnett RJ, Choi J, Cooper ML, Griffith M, Griffith OL, Rubin JB, Fuller GN, Piwnica-Worms D, Feng X, Hambardzumyan D, DiPersio JF, Mardis ER, Gutmann DH. F11R Is a Novel Monocyte Prognostic Biomarker for Malignant Glioma. PLOS ONE, published online Oct. 15, 2013.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

Greece cuts state funds for far-right Golden Dawn party

Source: BBCNews

Golden Dawn denies any neo-Nazi links, despite its swastika-like insignia
The Greek parliament has voted overwhelmingly to suspend state funding for the far-right Golden Dawn party.

The new law allows an indefinite funding freeze for parties whose leadership is charged with involvement in a criminal group or terrorism.

Golden Dawn’s leader and two MPs are in custody awaiting trial on charges of being part of a criminal organisation.

Their arrests follow the murder of an anti-fascist musician, allegedly by a supporter of the party.

The party strongly denies any link to the accused man.

However, the fatal stabbing last month has led to increasing calls for the party to be banned outright.

The new law was passed by 235 votes to zero in the 300-seat assembly during a late-night sitting on Tuesday.

The move looks likely to deprive Golden Dawn of a major financial resource, the website of Greek newspaper Ekathimerini reported.

Athens has set aside 11m euros (£9.3m) for elected parties in 2013 including 873,000 euros for Golden Dawn, it said.

The controversial party has a strong anti-austerity and anti-immigrant agenda and has been accused of perpetrating attacks on migrants and political opponents.

It officially denies being a neo-Nazi movement, despite its swastika-like insignia.

NSW gay marriage laws can withstand high court challenge, MP Penny Sharpe says

Source: ABC

New South Wales MPs who plan to table same-sex marriage laws in state parliament say their bill can withstand a High Court challenge.

The ACT’s same-sex marriage bill passed in the Legislative Assembly yesterday, but the Federal Government is set to challenge the law.

Federal Attorney-General George Brandis has said he has received advice that the bill was “invalid by reason of inconsistency” with the Commonwealth Marriage Act.

Attention has turned to the New South Wales Parliament where a debate is set next week for a bill drafted by a cross-party group of MPs, including Labor’s Penny Sharpe.

Ms Sharpe says the draft has been scrutinised by constitutional lawyers and the proposed law creates a separate legal category for same-sex marriage distinct from the federal Marriage Act.

“Because the Federal Government only deals with marriage for heterosexual couples, our advice says that that would be perfectly consistent with the federal constitution,” she said.

“The ban on marriage for same-sex couples federally has left open the ability for states to legislate for same-sex couples and that’s what we intend to do.”

The bill will be debated in the Upper House late next week.

Sydney Water and Hunter Water charges waived for bush fire affected residents

Source: SydneyWaterNews

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell today announced residents in the Blue Mountains, the Hunter and Southern Highlands will not be charged for water used to defend their homes during the bush fire crisis.

Customers will not be billed for water used to defend their homes in the following suburbs:

Hawkesbury Heights
Yellow Rock
Mount Riverview
Emu Heights
Nords Wharf
Caves Beach
Murrays Beach
Cams Wharf
Raymond Terrace
Salt Ash
Fingal Bay

Mr O’Farrell and Minister for Finance and Services Andrew Constance said the policy will be extended to cover more households if conditions deteriorate.

“In emergencies like this, it’s vital government agencies work together to assist people wherever they can and provide practical help to households – and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“This is a very difficult time for residents in the Blue Mountains, Hunter and Southern Highlands and the last thing they need to be worrying about is how much water they are using and the impact on their bills,” he said.

“This benefit could be extended to more households depending on conditions and fire movement over the next few days.

“It’s just another example of the practical way the NSW Government is helping assist residents in bush fire areas. Yesterday, I announced we would waive the waste levy for all residents and businesses cleaning-up after the fires.

“I’m pleased Sydney Water and Hunter Water are doing their part to help in waiving excess water charges,” he said.

Mr Constance said Sydney Water and Hunter Water are working with fire authorities to identify areas affected by the fires, and credit customers’ accounts based on that information.

“Sydney Water and Hunter Water will look at an affected customer’s water consumption record from the same period last year and compare it with this year’s water consumption. The difference will be automatically credited back to the customer,” Mr Constance said.

“Residents in other bush fire areas may be supplied by local council water providers and I encourage them to consider the same benefit.

“I would also like to thank the Sydney Water and Hunter Water crews who have been working around the clock to maintain water supply and wastewater systems for bush fire affected residents.

“The organisations are working closely with fire authorities to ensure water gets to where it’s needed.

“This decision follows representations from locals MPs.”

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