Robert Colla

By Stefania Colla

This page is dedicated to our much-loved husband and father, Robert Colla, who sadly passed away in the early hours of Sunday 21 June 2020.

Those close to him will know that Robert was initially diagnosed with an aggressive prostate cancer in May 2013. He subsequently underwent surgery and radiotherapy, followed by chemotherapy when the cancer was found to have metastasised, effectively managing it for a period of time. However, after returning from an overseas trip to Italy to visit family in November 2019, Robert was diagnosed with small cell carcinoma which had progressed as a mutation from his initial prostate cancer. Small cell carcinoma is a rare entity and one of the most aggressive malignancies of the prostate reported to occur in 0.5–2 per cent of men with prostate cancer. Whilst chemotherapy is the standard approach for people with this condition, the prognosis of men with prostatic small cell cancer remains poor. Rare or less common cancers occur in around 200 in 100 000 Australians a year, although collectively they are responsible for approximately one third of all cancer patients and have a high mortality rate: accounting for one in two cancer deaths.

In his final weeks, Robert expressed a desire for more research into uncommon and difficult to treat cancers, with the idea that this might improve treatment outcomes for others in his situation. His family has identified the work being conducted at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research within their Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine program as being relevant to this cause. This program is dedicated to using genomics to improve the understanding, early detection, prevention and management of cancer with a focus on less common, high-mortality cancers. They have recently received Australian Government funding to conduct innovative clinical trials for patients living with these kinds of cancers. As resistance to treatment is arguably the major issue facing patients with advanced cancers, the research team at the Institute is making progress in this field by combining conventional targeted cancer therapy with drugs that target DNA repair mechanisms, hopefully leading to more effective therapeutic strategies.

We ask that when considering how you might express your love and care for Robert and his family at this time, that a donation might be made as per his wishes in lieu of flowers.

Thank you to my Supporters

$600

Dragan, Nola, Julijana & Tomas Todorovic

$500

Eliza Leslie

$500

Dorothea Koopman

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Annette And Fred Colla

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Octavia And Luke Tomyn

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Colla Family

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Tanya Italiano

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Ruth Carr

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Carlo Carli

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Bec Lew

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Mary Colla

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Meredith Zavattiero

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Mel Morris

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Priscilla Elazar

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Kathryn Colla

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Andrea Flew

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Hema Parmar

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Michelle Andrews

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Mary Colla

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Robert Barrese

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Katherine Lynch

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Michelle Andrews

Your dad made a difference to so many. Hoping this will continue to make a difference to others xx

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Michelle Andrews

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