Australia’s first dedicated blood cancer therapeutics centre launched

The Alfred and Monash University have established a dedicated centre for Blood Cancer Therapeutics Research, thanks to a $1.2 million grant from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF). The grant was awarded to a team of haematologists led by Associate Professor Andrew Wei, and Professors Andrew Spencer, David Curtis and Stephen Jane, and the centre was officially launched on Tuesday 24 July 2018.

The ACRF Blood Cancer Therapeutics Centre, based at The Alfred, is home to the latest technology to assist blood cancer researchers develop improved outcomes for patients with blood cancer.

Each year, 11,500 Australians are diagnosed with blood cancer, including leukaemia, myeloma and lymphoma. Sadly, these debilitating diseases – which account for one in 10 cancers diagnosed nationally – claim 4000 lives every year.

Associate Professor Andrew Wei, haematologist at The Alfred and Monash University, said the new centre is allowing researchers to monitor the molecular profiles of blood cancers before, during and after therapy. These insights are helping researchers improve targeting strategies and design more effective clinical trials. The Centre is also developing new techniques to monitor patient outcomes with greater precision.

“This will allow treatment to be tailored to the individual patient and avoid unnecessary cycles of chemotherapy that will enable patients to more rapidly return home and spend more quality time with their families”, Associate Professor Wei said.

“Blood cancers are relatively neglected when it comes to research. Thanks to this grant, Monash University and The Alfred will be at the forefront of blood cancer research – it is the only way we can improve outcomes for people diagnosed with blood cancer,” Professor Spencer said.

At the launch, Mr Russell Caplan, ACRF Trustee, highlighted the strategic importance of providing research equipment by the ACRF as a priority to enhance the outstanding and international competitiveness of Australian cancer research teams.

For more information on the ACRF Blood Therapeutics Centre click here.