Industry support to probe fundamental questions in cancer

A new “tumour barcoding” technique known as SPLINTR, developed at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, will be applied to common variants of non-small cell lung cancer.

SPLINTR can identify and track over time patterns of gene expression that give certain tumour cells an advantage, helping them to become dominant within a cancer.

Tumour samples of specific lung cancers will be analysed this way, both before and after patients are treated with targeted drugs.

Professor Mark Dawson, whose lab led the development of SPLINTR, said the research could open a new window on the gene expression underpinning this cancer, and drivers of treatment resistance.

“We are excited to collaborate with Pfizer in this early-stage research which may point to new ways to extend treatment responses, and improve outcomes, for lung cancer patients,” Professor Dawson said.

This project will also involve significant contributions from Peter Mac’s Professor Ben Solomon, Associate Professor Jayesh Desai and Professor Sarah-Jane Dawson.

Professor Ricky Johnstone, Executive Director Cancer Research at Peter Mac, said it was fantastic to see industry providing direct support for early-stage research.

“We are delighted that Pfizer – through its Emerging Science Fund – is helping to address really important and fundamental questions in cancer as this is how we drive the development of new diagnostic and treatment options for our patients,” he said.

“Pfizer’s Emerging Science Fund is an important resource for fulfilling our purpose to work across the healthcare ecosystem to translate science and technologies into medicines and vaccines that improve patients’ lives,” said Barbara Sosnowski, Vice President and Global Head Emerging Science & Innovation Leads at Pfizer.

“As a company with a long history of dedication to lung cancer patients, we are pleased to support the team at Peter Mac in this early-stage program.”

This story was originally published on the Peter Mac website. ACRF has backed $9 million of brilliant research at Peter Mac.