New treatments for breast cancer, skin and wound healing and obesity will be revealed at an international conference in Cairns, Australia next week.

About 350 international researchers will discuss their groundbreaking research at the Second International Symposium on Growth Hormone (GH) and Insulin Like Growth Factors from April 18- 22.

Most people use growth hormones to help with deficient growth and metabolic disorders.

But scientists are increasingly finding new uses for GH to combat Crohn’s disease, cardiac disorders and improve fertility in invitro fertilisation.

“GH acts on virtually every cell in the body. It regulates fat metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, reproduction, bone formation and probably neuronal formation and repair, skin and hair formation and immune response,” co-organiser Professor Mike Waters, from The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) said.

More than 100 expert speakers will outline their research at the Cairns Convention Centre.

Among those are Dr Zee Upton, from Queensland University of Technology’s tissue engineering research program, who has researched how insulin-like growth factor one (IGF-1) can promote skin and wound healing.

Swedish scientist Gudmundur Johannsson will reveal how growth hormones can treat the most severe form of obesity, abdominal obesity, and improve the health of people with mature onset diabetes.

And British and American scientists will present new ways to treat breast and prostatic cancers.

“The whole thing is being organised out of the University of Queensland,” Professor Waters said.

“These are the best people in the world and some of them are Australians.”

UQ will be represented by Dr Richard Brown, Dr Agnes Lichanska, Dr Becky Conway-Campbell and Sheryl Maher from the IMB.

Associate Professor Ross Cuneo, from UQ’s School of Medicine, will talk about growth hormone, exercise and ageing.