New genome sequencing technologies for childhood cancer patients

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Australian children with high-risk cancer will have access to new genome sequencing technologies that could help guide their treatment thanks to the Lions Kids Cancer Genome Project.

The Zero Childhood Cancer Program launched in September 2015 and is currently one of the most detailed genetic and biological analyses of children’s cancer globally. The Lions Kids Cancer Genome project will serve as an important new component to the program as it expands its efforts.

Whole genome sequencing will take place following diagnosis or relapse of cancers with the poorest prognoses, such as brain tumours.

Sequencing looks at each child’s entire genome and its 20,000+ genes in order to define the genetic changes associated with a given cancer. This makes it possible to develop personalised cancer treatment by integrating genetic information with other biological and clinical data.

In addition, the study will identify genetic changes in each child’s DNA that might predispose a person to cancer, helping to build up a database of genetic risk factors that could assist with prevention and treatment strategies in the future.

At any one time in Australia, over 2,000 children, adolescents, and young adults, are on active treatment for cancer or at risk of relapse. In most cases, the treatments used are general, non-targeted, cytotoxic drugs and the side effects from treatment can be serious and lifelong.

The Zero Childhood Cancer Program is a national initiative of Children’s Cancer Institute (CCI) and The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, giving hope to children with the highest risk of treatment failure or relapse. Genome sequencing and analysis for the project will be carried out at Garvan Institute of Medical Research’s Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics.

The Lions Kids Cancer Genome Project is supported by the Lions Club International Foundation and by the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation. The project will roll out through the Zero Childhood Cancer Program to children’s hospitals across Australia in 2017.

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) welcomes the new initiative and partnership which will contribute towards improving children’s quality of life and ending all childhood cancers.

ACRF has supported Children’s Cancer Institute, including the Zero Childhood Program, by providing three grants, totalling AUD $5.1million, towards cutting edge cancer research equipment and technology. ACRF has also supported cancer research at Garvan Institute of Medical Research, including the Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, with three grants, totalling AUD $6.13million.

The original news post was published on the CCI and Garvan websites.

Breakthrough in predicting the spread of cancer

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, Cancer Research, Cancer Research Grants, cancer scientists, charity foundation, current cancer research, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Types of cancerA team of cancer researchers from Australia and the UK have bred a biosensor mouse that has enabled them to watch as pancreatic cancer cells ‘unzip’ right before they begin to spread.

“Our biosensor mouse makes it possible to look at a primary tumour that has not yet spread: in real time, in 3D, and in a living tumour. Using state-of-the-art laser technology, we can see, at a molecular level, whether the contacts that hold tumour cells in place have started to unzip – and that’s a sign that the cancer is about to spread,” says Dr Paul Timpson of Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

To understand how unzipping contributes to the spread of pancreatic cancer, the researchers implanted a genetic model of invasive pancreatic cancer. Remarkably, the researchers were able to successfully rezip these cancer cells by treating them with anti-cancer therapies, stopping the spread of cancer before it had begun.

To make the biosensor, the researchers bred a mouse in which a key “zippering” protein that holds cells together – called E-cadherin – was linked to a protein from jellyfish that glows green in fluorescence microscopy. This allowed for them to pinpoint when key changes occured.

Which is incredibly important given that five-year pancreatic cancer survival rates stand at just 6.1% – a figure that has barely changed in the last 40 years. “Many patients present with pancreatic cancer at a very advanced stage, when the cancer has already spread to other tissues such as the liver,” says Dr Timpson.

“But sometimes, the cancer is detected before it has spread – and that’s the point where we have an opportunity to intervene and stop it in its tracks. If we give a drug early enough, we can rezip those cells together.”

Dr Timpson says the most exciting part of the study was the fact that the existing treatment – an anti-invasive drug called dasatinib – allowed us to stabalise the primary tumour. “We treated mice that had developed pancreatic cancer that had yet to spread with the anti-invasive drug [and] within three days of treatment, we saw cells within the tumour had re-zippered, and the tumour had stabilised.”

Similar results were achieved with a second therapy, saracatinib.

“The biosensor mouse is a powerful tool for anti-cancer drug discovery,” Dr Timpson says. “It makes it possible to evaluate the effect of new therapies on tumour spread, in real time and in a system that reflects human cancer as closely as is currently possible.”

Dr Timpson points out that this is just the beginning for the biosensor mouse. “We now have a model that is one step ahead of the invasion process in pancreatic cancer – but we are also already using this model in our laboratory for other aggressive and highly invasive cancer types, such as breast cancer.

“Ultimately, we expect to use the biosensor mouse to explore zippering and cancer spread in a wide range of tumours throughout the body.”

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research has received three ACRF cancer research grants totalling $6.13m. To read the original article, click here.

Researchers Honoured at Cancer Institute NSW Awards

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Last Friday the ACRF attended the 2015 Premier’s Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research. These awards honour the achievements of the individuals and teams that work across the cancer research sector to lessen the impact of cancer on the community through prevention, early detection, innovation, and research discoveries.

The event marked the 10th anniversary of the awards and was hosted by the Cancer Institute NSW at Doltone House, Hyde Park. Over three hundred guests from the health and medical sector attended.

The night celebrated excellence and innovation in cancer research, acknowledging the immense contributions of professionals who have dedicated their life’s work to improving the lives of people with cancer, and commending ‘rising stars’ who are embarking on brilliant new research endeavours.

Throughout the night, speeches not only discussed the scientific implications of their findings on future treatments and preventions, but recognised the real world difference cancer research is making to patients battling the disease today.

Keynote speaker Professor Terry Speed, a world-leader in statistics and bioinformatics, marvelled at the impact cancer research teams have on patients. “I severely underestimated the realism of the people in this room. It was a moment of awakening for me, when I realised that someone I knew from an institute that I worked at had made such an impact on my nephew who just had a stem cell transplant.”

Winner of the ‘Wildfire’ Highly Cited Publication Award, Ms Amber Johns, acknowledged the collaborative nature of cancer research worldwide, “it’s important to thank the dedicated scientists undertaking the research, the clinicians for everything they do for our patients and to our patients who volunteer for these studies, and allow researchers into their bedside at such a vulnerable time in their lives.”

Dr Geoffrey McCowage, a paediatric oncologist at the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network Westmead won the Excellence in Translation Cancer Research Award for his work with Gene Therapy. He shared insight on the emotional impact of working in this field. When asked whether the scientific rewards outweigh how difficult it is to work with childhood cancers, Dr McCowage responded with “Absolutely, however people often ask me if it gets any easier to deal with tragedy, and as the years go on I honestly have to say it gets harder.”

Despite the difficulties, Professor Speed revealed that in his experience he found that many researchers are motivated to continue on by a single thought: “There’s a driving force at the back of our minds – if a Eureka moment does happen, there will be an army of people who will bring this discovery from the bench to the bedside.”

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation thanks the nominees and award winners for their hard work and dedication. We know that these awards go beyond recognition of a scientists achievement, they are a celebration of the shared progress that brings us closer towards finding a cure for all cancers.

Discovery of four pancreatic cancer sub-types raises hope for future treatments.

Cancer ResearchACRF funding has enabled a new discovery which will improve pancreatic cancer treatments of the near future.

Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), and QIMR Berghofer Institute of Medical Research collaborated with researchers from the Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre in Scotland, to analyse the complete genetic code of pancreatic tumours in 100 patients.

The team identified and mapped out the extensive and damaging genetic changes – finding four key subgroups which differentiate pancreatic tumours by their gene arrangements: ‘stable’, ‘locally rearranged’, ‘scattered’ and ‘unstable’.

Professor Sean Grimmond from IMB said, “Having access to these detailed genetic maps could help doctors in the future determine which chemotherapy drug a patient should get, based on their cancer’s genome.”

This discovery already promises to improve the treatment of at least one of these groups after the researchers noticed an existing class of chemotherapy drugs, used to treat some breast cancers, may also work on patients whose pancreatic tumours have the “unstable” genomes.

The team of researchers realised the significance of their discovery when they found four out of five study patients with this genetic signature responded to the DNA-damaging drugs.

“Two of them had an exceptional response, which happens very, very rarely in pancreatic cancer. Their tumours went away completely,” said the co-leader of the group, Andrew Biankin, who conducted the work at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

Dr Nicola Waddell from QIMR Berghofer (previously from IMB) said pancreatic cancer remained one of the most complex cancers to treat, with a survival rate that has not improved considerably in the last 50 years.

“Our study identified four major genomic subtypes in pancreatic cancer, revealed two new driver genes not previously associated with pancreatic cancer, and reaffirmed the importance of five key genes,” said Dr, Waddell.

The team at IMB plan to begin a clinical trial in the UK, selecting patients for targeted treatments based on their genomic testing.

The ACRF is proud to have supported each the Australian research centres involved in this study with funding over many years. 

Existing drug for bone disease shows promising anti-cancer properties

imageAn existing drug, currently used to treat patients suffering from osteoporosis and some late-stage bone cancers, has now shown potential to treat other cancers outside of the skeletal system, such as breast cancer.

Several clinical trials, where women with early-stage breast cancer were given this drug, called ‘bisphosphonates’, alongside normal treatment for the disease, have resulted in a ‘survival advantage’ and, in some cases, stopped the cancer from spreading.

A new study by Professor Mike Rogers, Dr Tri Phan and Dr Simon Junankar from Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research found, using sophisticated imaging technologies, has revealed more information about how this advantage works.

They found the bisphosphonates attach to tiny calcifications within the tumours.

These calcium-drug combinations are then devoured by ‘macrophages’, immune cells that the cancer hijacks early in its development to conceal its existence.

“We do not yet fully understand how the macrophages revert from being ‘bad cops’ to being ‘good cops’, although it is clear that this immune cell interacts with tumours, and probably changes its function in the presence of bisphosphonates,” said Professor Rogers.

“Our next step will be to analyse the changes that take place in macrophages, so that we can understand their change in function, and effect on cancer cells.”

Professor Rogers explains cancer scientists already know that the drug is well-tolerated in people, providing a “survival advantage” for some patients with certain cancers when taken early in disease development.

“This now provides a rationale for using these drugs in a different, and potentially more effective, way in the clinic,” said Professor Rogers.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Potential early intervention for those susceptible to pancreatic cancer

Biankin-Andrew-3Australian clinical researchers have found that early detection may be possible for people who are genetically susceptible to pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer has been found to be a very slow growing disease in the early stages, taking between 10 and 20 years to develop. A very “broad window” therefore exists for intervention, provided certain genetic factors are detected early.

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research’s Dr Jeremy Humphris and Professor Andrew Biankin (Professor Biankin is also Regius Professor of Surgery at the University of Glasgow), analysed medical histories and tumour samples taken from 766 pancreatic cancer patients, operated on between 1994 and 2012. They found that roughly 9% of these patients had a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) with pancreatic cancer.

Patients with a close relative who developed pancreatic cancer were more likely to develop cancer in their life-time and 71 per cent of children whose parents had pancreatic cancer were found to have developed the same cancer but 10 years earlier than the parent’s own diagnosis age (known as ‘anticipation’).

These genetic factors, as well as the knowledge that the greatest known risk factors are cigarette smoking, diabetes, obesity and, to a lesser extent, alcohol consumption should make it possible for scientists and GPs to identify novel susceptibility genes, and at the same time design risk management and screening programs for the genetically susceptible group.

“Our findings suggest that when we’re assessing someone, it’s important to understand the family history – not just of pancreatic cancer, but other malignancies too,” said Dr Humphris.

“Smoking led to a much earlier onset of disease, so obviously you would counsel against smoking, especially in those who are genetically susceptible.”

Pancreatic cancer is a lethal disease with a 5-year survival rate of less than 5%. This very low survival rate is generally due to the fact that diagnosis comes only after the disease is advanced or has spread – making a case for early detection methods.

Professor Biankin said “a better understanding of the clinical features of genetically at-risk individuals will help us identify susceptibility genes as well as those who might benefit from genetic counselling and screening for detection of early disease”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Pancreatic cancer researchers find important molecular similarity between cancer types

High levels of the HER2 molecule have been identified in 2% of pancreatic cancer cases – indicating new treatment options could be possible via an existing therapy.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most devastating cancer types, with a five year survival rate of less than 5%. It is also one of the most elusive cancers, with significant variability in molecular behaviour across cases, which dictates how the cancer behaves.

This means that each tumour will only respond to treatments that target its unique molecular blue-print.

But new research, supported with significant funding by the Australian Cancer Research Foundation and published in Genome Medicine, has suggested the treatment ‘Herceptin’ could bring new hope to these pancreatic cancer patients. Herceptin is currently available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for breast and gastric cancers with high expressions of HER2, and clinical trials will show whether the drug is equally effective in pancreatic cancer patients.

The HER2 pancreatic cancer sub-group was identified following a series of modern genetics and traditional pathological assessments to estimate the prevalence of HER2- amplified pancreatic cancer. Continue reading “Pancreatic cancer researchers find important molecular similarity between cancer types”

From trash to treasure: Junk DNA and its role in Cell Development

97% of human DNA that was previously considered ‘Junk’ could hold the key to finding new therapies for cancer, according to new research published in the prestigious ‘Cell’ journal.

Junk DNA is characterised by genes which don’t encode proteins, and it has long been overlooked in medical research because of this reason (proteins have been considered the most important biochemical component of cells).

However, using the latest gene sequencing techniques and analysis, a team led by Royal Prince Alfred (RPA) Hospital’s Professor John Rasko AO, together with Centenary’s Head of Bioinformatics Dr William Ritchie, have shown that particular white blood cells do use Junk DNA to regulate a group of genes that controls cell shape and function.

Continue reading “From trash to treasure: Junk DNA and its role in Cell Development”

Pancreatic cancer research enhanced through new access to advanced nanotechnology

Australian cancer researchers can now view never-before-seen images of how cancers respond to therapy, thanks to new access to an advanced imaging nanotechnology, based in the US.

Dr Paul Timpson of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, in collaboration with a team from the UK, are using the Fluroescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) technologies to map areas within pancreatic cancers, pin-pointing where drugs need to be delivered to significantly improve patient survival.

Continue reading “Pancreatic cancer research enhanced through new access to advanced nanotechnology”

ACRF grant rounds open, funding research into all types of cancer

The ACRF is once again inviting world-class research teams and collaborations to apply for between $1.5 and $5 million in ACRF research funding.

Every year we provide major grants to help cutting-edge cancer research institutes develop state-of-the-art facilities, and purchase advanced technologies and equipment that speed up cancer discoveries.

No other private research funding body in Australia provides grants as large as these; and these grants help to fund research in Australia that has the power to make significant breakthroughs in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Continue reading “ACRF grant rounds open, funding research into all types of cancer”

Up to $10 million in cancer research funding available through the Australian Cancer Research Foundation

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) has begun accepting applications for their 2013 annual Cancer Research Grant Round.

The ACRF provides major grants between $1.5 and $5 million to develop state-of-the-art, collaborative research centres and purchase advanced technologies and equipment. Grants of this magnitude are not available from any other private funding body in Australia.

Continue reading “Up to $10 million in cancer research funding available through the Australian Cancer Research Foundation”

Manipulating molecules to enhance breast cancer treatment

funding research into breast cancerThe ACRF is proud to have funded a cutting-edge research discovery at Sydney’s Garvan Institute which revealed a known ‘transcription factor’ could be at the heart of many ineffective breast cancer treatments.

‘Transcription factors’ are molecules which act like a switch – turning genes on and off to change the behaviour and characteristics of our cells.

‘ELF5’ is one such transcription factor, best understood for its role in triggering oestrogen-receptor negative (ER-negative) cells for the development of breast milk during pregnancy.

But cancer researchers at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research have also shown that ELF5 can prevent breast cancer treatments from working.

In a preclinical study, Associate Professor Chris Ormandy and his team found that ELF5 can make an oestrogen-receptor positive (ER+) tumour cell behave like an ER- negative cell.  Continue reading “Manipulating molecules to enhance breast cancer treatment”

Mapping pancreatic cancer genes reveals hidden secrets for treatment

PancCurrent cancer researchreatic cancer has long been considered a mysterious, deadly disease. It has the highest mortality rate of all the major cancers, and it is one of the few cancer types for which survival has not substantially improved over the last 40 years.

But two Australian researchers can now tell us why. They know how to fix it, and ACRF funding will play a pivotal role in the realisation of their treatment plan.

Professors Sean Grimmond from Brisbane’s Institute for Molecular Biosciences (IMB), and Andrew Biankin from the newly opened Kinghorn Cancer Centre in Sydney (formerly of the Garvan Institute) led an international team of researchers towards this ground-breaking discovery.

They sequenced the genes of 100 pancreatic tumour cells and, in order to determine the genetic changes which lead to the cancer, they compared their results to normal tissue. Continue reading “Mapping pancreatic cancer genes reveals hidden secrets for treatment”

Vale Professor Rob Sutherland

The ACRF was deeply saddened to learn of the passing this morning of one of the giants of cancer research in this country, Professor Rob Sutherland. The Board, staff and supporters of ACRF convey our deepest sympathies to Prof. Sutherland’s wife Cheryl and all members of their family.

Prof. Sutherland was a very long-serving member (20 years), in a totally honorary capacity, of our scientific advisory committee and was awarded Life Membership of the ACRF in 2009 for exemplary service.

At the time of his passing, he was Head of Research at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and also Director of the newly-created Kinghorn Cancer Centre in Sydney (which combines the Garvan and St Vincent’s Hospital). The Kinghorn Cancer Centre was officially opened by the Prime Minister in late August this year and only yesterday, ACRF was privileged to open the new ACRF-funded Molecular Genetics Facility within the centre. Professor Sutherland was one of a small number of visionaries behind the creation of this comprehensive cancer centre, and was undoubtedly well pleased that the initiative had become a reality during his lifetime.

Professor Sutherland has been a leader in Australian cancer research, and the research sector is much the poorer his passing.

Thank you Rob for your great service.

World-class Genetics Facility Now Open

Fighting cancerToday her excellency Prof. Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of NSW will officially open a world-class ACRF-funded facility at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre in Darlinghurst, NSW.

In line with the ACRF’s mission to fund only the best research initiatives in Australia, the ACRF Molecular Genetics Facility houses next-generation sequencing technology that has the power to carry out internationally competitive research in cancer genetics.

The facility was developed through a $5 million ACRF grant made in honour of the late Lady (Sonia) McMahon, life member and founding trustee of the ACRF. A plaque in Lady McMahon’s honour will be unveiled today at the official opening of the centre.

“Without doubt, and over a long period of time, the Garvan’s researchers, led by Professor Rob Sutherland, have been up there with the best in the world and we know this new facility will further strengthen their work,” said ACRF Chairman Tom Dery. Continue reading “World-class Genetics Facility Now Open”

ACRF Molecular Genomics Facility opened by the Governor of NSW

Fighting cancerToday Her Excellency Prof. Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of NSW will officially open a world-class ACRF-funded facility at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Sydney.

The facility houses next-generation sequencing technology with the power to carry out internationally competitive research in cancer genetics.

Continue reading “ACRF Molecular Genomics Facility opened by the Governor of NSW”

ACRF and the Kinghorn Cancer Centre opening

current cancer researchThe ACRF is very excited to attend the opening of the world-class Kinghorn Cancer Centre in Darlinghurst, Sydney today.

The comprehensive cancer facility is a joint project of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and St. Vincent’s Hospital, and it is modeled on revolutionary medical centres overseas which bring patients, clinicians and research scientists together under the one roof.

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre will play a major role in the future of Australian cancer care. It’s multidisciplinary approach covers the entire cancer journey, working to reduce the impact of cancer in the community through research, while providing holistic patient care from diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and quality of life.

The ACRF is proud to support this fantastic facility, having provided a significant $5 million towards its development. Continue reading “ACRF and the Kinghorn Cancer Centre opening”

‘Brake gene’ turned off in pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic Cancer ResearchA new study has found that a particular gene is being switched off in the cancerous cells of up to 15% of pancreatic cancers.

New drugs are already being tested to turn the gene back on, thereby working to stop the spread of cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive and lethal types of cancer, and this discovery paves the way towards a new class of drugs which target this gene, thus treating some types of pancreatic cancer much more effectively.

The study was published in the journal ‘Nature’ following research which revealed that when the gene Usp9x was ‘switched off’ in mice, cells started to grow out of control. It has been called a ‘brake gene’ because it seems to have a key role in natural cell death.

Continue reading “‘Brake gene’ turned off in pancreatic cancer”

Top Australian scientist takes another win for cancer research

John Mattick cancer researcher and Executive Director at the Garvan InstituteThe Australian Cancer Research Foundation would like to congratulate Professor John Mattick, Executive Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney.

Professor Mattick has become the first Australian honoured with the esteemed Chen Award, an accolade awarded by the Human Genome Organisation to recognise academic achievement in human genetic and genomic research.

Professor Mattick is being commended for his pursuit of a then-radical theory regarding Human DNA. He has been described by the Award Reviewing Committee as a “true visionary in his field.”

Ever since DNA was found to be a double helix, scientists had believed that most genes comprised the written instructions for proteins, which were in turn the building blocks of all body processes.

Professor Mattick however, argued that the assumption was true for bacteria, but not for complex organisms like humans.

Continue reading “Top Australian scientist takes another win for cancer research”

February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

05-womenFebruary is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, and a very timely discovery has been made by Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research which has fantastic potential for early diagnosis of this terrible disease.

Ovarian cancer is currently the most lethal gynaecological cancer in Australia, with almost 850 women dying from the disease each year*.

It is very difficult to detect and is often only discovered once it has spread past the pelvis and into other organs (often the stomach, bowel and lungs). But Australian scientists from the Garvan have identified early biochemical changes which may help diagnose the cancer before it spreads. Continue reading “February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month”


Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women worldwide. It has a devastating impact on those diagnosed and the people around them.

What is breast cancer awareness month?

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is held annually in October. It aims to raise awareness and generate support for breast cancer by raising much needed funds to improve it’s diagnosis, prevention and treatment.

This month also serves as a reminder to women to put their health first and get regular check ups for breast cancer.

How you can support breast cancer awareness month

There are a number of ways you can get involved and support breast cancer awareness month. Some ideas include;

  • Spreading awareness by adding a touch of pink to your wardrobe throughout the month to help start a conversation 
  • Using social media or engaging in conversations with your friends or family and using these platforms to talk about breast cancer, the impact of it and the importance of regular check ups 
  • Getting involved in a charity walk or run that raises money for breast cancer 
  • Making a donation to a cancer research charity such as ACRF, who are committed to improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer

How ACRF is contributing to Breast Cancer research

“Research and more research is the key to defeating cancer,” says Chief Executive, Mr David Brettell.

“Since ACRF was established in 1984 we have given 16 multi-million dollar grants to research that is investigating preventative, diagnostic and/or treatment methods for breast cancer.” Continue reading “HOW TO SUPPORT BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH”

Discovery of biomarkers will aid pancreatic cancer patients

Cancer researchers at Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research have discovered two ‘biomarkers’ which can indicate the likelihood of patient survival after pancreatic cancer surgery.

Lead investigator of the research, Professor Andrew Biankin, has acknowledged the significant financial contribution of ACRF to the work of his team for this and other cancer research at the Garvan. ACRF has awarded $6.1 million in grants since 2004 to the Garvan Institute.

Continue reading “Discovery of biomarkers will aid pancreatic cancer patients”

Aussie scientists unravel colorectal cancer mystery

A team of scientists at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney has identified why some patients are able to respond to treatments better than others for colorectal cancer.

Continue reading “Aussie scientists unravel colorectal cancer mystery”

2010 ACRF grant recipients

The 2010 ACRF grants – totalling $8.5 million – will fund two new cancer divisions, a scanner for imaging tumour development and state-of-the-art genomic technologies. Since 1987 the Foundation has provided 41 grants totalling almost $71 million to Australian cancer research institutes ($48 million of which has been awarded in the last six years). This year four grants have been awarded to four cutting edge research projects around the country. Continue reading “2010 ACRF grant recipients”

ACRF awards $5M cancer research grant for Kinghorn Cancer Centre and honours Lady (Sonia) McMahon

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) will tonight award its equal largest ever research grant of $5 million towards the construction of The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, a joint facility of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney.

The ACRF grant honours the late Lady (Sonia) McMahon, life member and one of two joint founders of the Foundation (the other being the late Sir Peter Abeles).

Continue reading “ACRF awards $5M cancer research grant for Kinghorn Cancer Centre and honours Lady (Sonia) McMahon”

Tour of Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Researchers and clinicians will soon be able to fast-track efforts to tailor cancer treatments for patients through personalised medicine with the imminent construction of a new $100million cancer centre in Sydney, also leading the way for world-class translational research in Australia.

A joint venture of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the St Vincent’s & Mater Health Sydney, the new cancer centre – due for completion in 2012 – is partially funded with a $2.5 million grant awarded in 2006 by the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF).

Recently visiting the building site, ACRF staff also met with Garvan scientists to explore the Institute’s existing laboratories, as well as discussing the importance of ongoing funding to support cancer research. Continue reading “Tour of Garvan Institute of Medical Research”

PM launches ACRF Unit for Molecular Genetics of Cancer

A $1.1 million grant provided by the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) has helped one of Australia’s leading research institutes to package eight months of cancer research into one day.

The Hon John Howard MP, Prime Minister of Australia, today officially opened the ACRF Unit for Molecular Genetics of Cancer at Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney.

Mr Howard also toured the new state-of-the-art, world class facility, which was established using the $1.1 million ACRF grant awarded last year. Grant funds were also directed towards the purchase of major research equipment including the Mass Array Sequenom analyser, which can test 768 DNA samples at once, allowing eight months of cancer research to now be completed in one day.

Continue reading “PM launches ACRF Unit for Molecular Genetics of Cancer”