$16.4 M to accelerate leading cancer research in Australia

ACRF 2018 Grant News

SYDNEY, NSW – The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) has announced this evening $16.4 million in four technology grants to initiate and accelerate further ground-breaking cancer research in Australia.

“Every year ACRF encourages the Australian cancer research community to propose projects that are innovative and have great potential to make a significant impact on cancer prevention, detection and treatment,” Professor Brown said.

A flagship diagnostic centre to improve the early detection of melanoma will be established with a major $9.9 million grant. The ACRF Australian Centre of Excellence in Melanoma Imaging and Diagnosis is set to revolutionise the early detection of melanoma.

“The centre will advance the early detection of melanoma, Australia’s ‘national cancer’, and is a world first,” Professor Brown said.

This project will implement cutting-edge imaging technology in combination with a multi-nodal telemedicine network across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria and significantly enhance the capability of clinicians and researchers to detect and understand melanoma.

The 3D imaging system takes a total body image in m­­­­illiseconds, giving dermatologists the ability to detect skin cancers in a patient even from the other side of the country. A telemedicine network will significantly benefit rural and remote communities.

Approximately 100 000 individual scans from high risk groups will be completed in the first three years. Australians experience 12 times the global incidence of melanoma. It is the most common cancer in Australians aged 15 to 39.

Three other grants were awarded by the Australian Cancer Research Foundation for 2018.

The recipients include:

  • ACRF Facility for Innovative Drug Discovery – $2 million to develop revolutionary drug discovery technology for cancers with no approved therapy available or requiring improved treatments. Hosted at Bio21 Molecular Science and Technology Institute (VIC).
  • ACRF Centre for Integrated Cancer Systems Biology – $2.5 million for technology to provide new personalised approaches to interrogate cancer biology. This will significantly enhance the translation of cancer research from the laboratory to the patient. Hosted at South Australia Health and Medical Research Institute (SA).
  • ACRF Centre for Compound Management and Logistics – $2 million to establish a transformative acoustic compound management platform with integrated software to enable Australian cancer researchers to access the most advanced drug combinations used in cancer clinical trials. Hosted at compounds Australia, Griffith University (QLD).

“All grant applications are critically evaluated by a team of leading international cancer scientists and clinicians who recommend the projects that will make major impact nationally and globally to the ACRF board,” Professor Brown concluded.

Support for personnel to be involved in the projects has been secured via the NSW government through Cancer Institute NSW ($300,000 over 3 years for the ACRF Australian Centre of Excellence in Melanoma Imaging and Diagnosis) and Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation ($333,000 over 3 years for the ACRF Facility for Innovative Drug Discovery).

The grants were announced at a reception hosted by the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) and Lady Cosgrove, tonight at Admiralty House in Sydney.