Cancer researchers uncover new insight into MLL translocated leukaemia

C0061986 Dr Mark Dawson's labCancer researchers at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne have found a new lead that could fast-track the development of a more targeted and effective treatment for MLL Translocated Leukaemia.

More than 80% of infants diagnosed with either Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) or Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL), and up to 10% of diagnosed adults, have a sub-type known as MLL Translocated Leukaemia.

Prognosis for MLL Translocated Leukaemia is particularly poor with only 40- 50% of diagnosed infants likely to survive, and the five-year survival rates in older adults remaining at less than 20%.

Peter Mac’s Professor Mark Dawson has studied Acute Leukaemia and this particular sub-type for a decade. He says the latest findings provide a step towards next-generation therapy for the disease, for which treatment has changed very little since the 1970s.

“Every other disease that I’ve treated in my time as a haematologist has had one if not many, new drugs come along to improve treatment but this has not been the case for AML,” Professor Dawson said.

“This is a disease where patients affected are often young and fit when first diagnosed but do not respond to conventional therapy.”

Research by Professor Dawson’s team along with international collaborators has – for the first time – explained the role played by two proteins (BRD4 and DOT1L) which are known to be key regulators of MLL Translocated Leukaemia.

His research identified a previously unknown cooperation between these proteins, showing how they depend on each other to progress the disease.

Drugs which target both of these proteins are now in separate clinical trials as potential leukaemia treatments. Professor Dawson’s research suggests a combination therapy involving drugs that target both proteins at the same time may be an effective strategy against the disease.

Professor Dawson’s findings explaining the interdependence of BRD4 and DOT1L in MLL Leukaemia has been published in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

“We’ve always known that these leukaemias needed these regulators but what we didn’t know was why, and we didn’t know that they spoke to each other to drive the disease,” Professor Dawson said.

“The good news is we don’t have to develop new drugs in light of this research because they are already here and in clinical trials,” Professor Dawson said.

The original article was published on Peter Mac’s website. The image of Professor Dawson was provided courtesy of Peter Mac.

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has supported Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre by providing three grants, totalling AUD $7million, towards cutting edge cancer research equipment and technology.

Melbourne researchers trial new leukaemia treatment

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research Grants, cancer scientists, charity challenge, charity foundation, current cancer research, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Types of cancer, leukaemiaIn a world-first clinical trial, Melbourne medical researchers have shown that patients with an advanced form of leukaemia can achieve complete remission with a new tablet treatment.The trials were conducted at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, in collaboration with the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, as well as trial sites in the US.

Clinical trials of the potent new anti-cancer drug Venetoclax showed it was effective in killing cancer cells in people with advanced forms of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) when conventional treatment options had been exhausted.

Seventy-nine percent of those involved in the trial had promising responses to the new therapy – including twenty percent who went into a complete remission. A small number of patients had such a profound response that even very sensitive tests were unable to detect any remaining leukaemia in their bodies.

CLL is one of the most common forms of leukaemia, with around 1,000 people diagnosed with this type of cancer in Australia every year. More than 350,000 people were estimated to have been diagnosed with leukaemia in 2012 worldwide, with incidence rates varying across the world.

The drug has been granted priority review status by the US Federal Drug Agency (FDA) for treating some types of CLL. The designation is granted to medicines that the FDA has determined to have the potential to provide significant improvements in the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of a disease.

Venetoclax was developed based on a landmark discovery made in the 1980s by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute scientists that a protein called BCL-2 promoted cancer cell survival. Venetoclax was co-developed for clinical use by US pharmaceutical companies AbbVie and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, and was discovered as part of a joint research collaboration that involved Walter and Eliza Hall Institute scientists.

Professor Andrew Roberts, a clinical haematologist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and cancer researcher at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, said the drug works very specifically by overcoming the action of BCL-2.

“Most trial patients responded positively to the therapy, showing substantial reductions in the number of leukaemia cells in their body. Many patients have maintained this response more than a year after their treatment began, and some patients remain in remission more than four years on,” Professor Roberts said.

“High levels of BCL-2 protect the leukaemia cells from dying, so leukaemia cells can grow and become resistant to standard treatments. Venetoclax selectively targets the interaction responsible for keeping the leukaemia cells alive and, in many cases, we’ve seen the cancerous cells simply melt away.”

Professor John Seymour, Chair of the Haematology Service at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre says, “The fact that a targeted drug, given on its own, can produce such a profound reduction in the leukaemia burden in the patient, to the point we cannot find leukaemia cells even with our best tests, underscores what a powerful strategy targeting the BCL-2 gene is.”

These results set the foundation for building towards the dream of a cure for CLL. Phase 2 and phase 3 studies are currently being undertaken to test Venetoclax across a range of blood cancers globally, including at many sites in Australia.

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has supported cancer research at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre by providing three major grants to both institutions, totalling AUD 12.5m.

This news was first published on the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre website.

Fighting blood cancers with new therapies

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, Cancer Research, Cancer Research Grants, cancer research fundraising, cancer scientists, charity foundation, current cancer research, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Types of cancer, leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma

Researchers at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne are pioneering the development of a new combination drug therapy to treat advanced blood cancers.

The new therapy builds on a world-first clinical trial already underway at Peter Mac, which uses the drug CX-5461 to treat patients with incurable blood cancers such as myeloma, lymphoma and leukaemia.

The new discovery, published in the journal Cancer Discovery, has shown promising results to date. The research team has found that CX-5461 could be even more effective when used in combination with another drug, Everolimus, already used to treat other cancers. The new combination has shown doubled survival times in pre-clinical laboratory models.

According to Professor Rick Pearson, Head of Peter Mac’s Cancer Signalling Laboratory, the research findings significantly enhance understanding of pre-emptive strategies to kill off cancer cells before they have the chance to become resistant to therapy.

“CX-5461 targets a particular process that is required for cancer cell survival. Our experiments show that adding Everolimus synergistically strengthens this attack, more rapidly and more effectively eradicating the killer disease.”

“We know that all cells rely on ribosomes (protein builders of the cell Ed.) which act like a factory producing the proteins essential for their growth and survival,” said Professor Pearson.

“Peter Mac researchers have previously shown that certain blood cancers are far more reliant on these proteins than normal cells and that eliminating the protein production capability of ribosomes leads to the rapid death of cancer cells while normal cells stay viable.”

“This novel therapy works to inhibit the ribosomes’ protein production capability, effectively starving the cancer cells of a key ingredient they need to survive and proliferate.”

“A further study in collaboration with scientists at Monash University shows striking effects in the targeting of late stage prostate cancer through a similar strategy indicating that this approach may be generally applicable for a range of cancer types.”

Associate Professor Simon Harrison, Consultant Haematologist at Peter Mac and Principal Investigator on the CX-5461 first-in-human trial, says this new research provides further confidence that researchers are on the right track.

“The prevalence and poor prognosis for people with advanced blood cancers demand the ongoing and intricate study of abnormal cell behaviour, which has been an indicator of cancer for over 100 years. To date, 15 patients have been treated on the first-in-human clinical study with a number of patients experiencing prolonged benefit.”

More than 12,000 Australians are diagnosed with blood cancer annually (approximately 10% of all cancers) and around 4,000 Australians will lose their lives to the disease each year.

This research is supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council; Cancer Council Victoria; the Leukemia Foundation; Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia; Cancer Australia; Victorian Cancer Agency, Australian Cancer Research Foundation and Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation. Collaborators include the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University and Monash University.

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has supported cancer research at Peter Mac by providing three major grants, totalling AUD 7 million.

The news was originally published on Peter Mac’s website.



Possible cause of world’s most common childhood cancer, discovered

Cancer scientistsResearchers from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre have discovered a possible cause of medulloblastoma, one of the world’s most common childhood cancers.

Cancer scientists have found mature cells in the brain can revert to basic stem cells and initiate cancer – a process previously thought not to be possible.

Trials undertaken in the fruit fly, which shares around 70 per cent common cancer genes with humans, found mature cells, in the absence of a key gene, revert into rapidly dividing stem cells that can cause brain tumours.

Dr Louise Cheng, Head of the Stem Cell Growth Regulation Laboratory at Peter Mac and lead author on the study, said, ‘It was thought that, once matured, brain cells or neurons could not go backwards and become stem cells again — but we found this process is in fact reversible.

“In our fruit fly model, we found that once a gene called Nerfin-1, which keeps neurons locked in a mature, non-dividing state, is lost, the neurons revert to an out-of-control stem cell state, rapidly initiating cancer and quickly becoming brain tumours.”

These findings are significant as medulloblastoma patients often have a faulty version of the human equivalent of this Nerfin-1 gene, called INSM1.

“INSM1 is frequently mutated in people with medulloblastoma and we believe preserving the protective role of INSM1 could prevent the reversion of mature neurons into stem cells, and stop cancer initiation in the brain,” said Dr Cheng.

“This is particularly important in the current treatment context where chemotherapy is used to target rapidly dividing cells, but does not kill non-dividing, mature cells, which we now know can be a cause of medulloblastoma, potentially explaining why chemotherapy is not always successful in treating brain cancers in the long term.”

This discovery that non-dividing cells may also cause cancer now opens the door for cancer scientists to develop of new targeted therapies and drugs with the potential to block this reversion of non-dividing cells and eliminate cancer-causing stem cell populations altogether.

This information was originally published on the Peter MacCallum website and can be found here.

New treatment options possible with bowel cancer discovery

090126_082-300x225Melbourne cancer scientists believe they have found a cause for the onset and acceleration of bowel cancer.

Being the third most common cancer in Australia, this exciting discovery opens up the possibility for new ways to treat bowel cancer, bringing hope to patients suffering from the disease.

Researchers from the prestigious Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre found a two-part failure in bowel cancer cells. Essentially, the mechanisms which stop a cell from multiplying uncontrollably, stop working in bowel cancer cells.

This failure causes the acceleration of the disease and, additionally, the development of resistance to cancer treatments. This two-part failure is known as “chromosomal instability” and is caused by a signalling network in the cell called the Wnt Pathway.

“Previously, in most bowel cancers, we thought this instability built up randomly over time as cancer cells evolved, while a signalling network, called the Wnt pathway, held cells back from chromosome chaos,” Professor Rob Ramsay said.

“Now we have proven this instability begins immediately with the breakdown of the Wnt pathway, which occurs in two steps and sets off an unstoppable acceleration of disease.

“Just as the loss of firstly the handbrake, followed by the secondary loss of a foot brake, both combine to allow a car to career down a hill.”

Chromosomal instability was found in 85 per cent of tumours in people with bowel cancer.

Professor Ramsay says the “double breakdown” in the Wnt pathway sparked complex evolution in the genetic make-up of bowel cancers.

“The dramatic genomic changes cells go through gives the cancer a breadth of opportunities to rapidly evolve, to deceive and outflank the cancer treatments.”

Professor Ramsay said the findings open up potential new treatment possibilities.

“This fundamental new information reaffirms why the Wnt pathway should be a high priority target of new treatment development, and the genetic clues uncovered by our research will help guide the selection of patients for different therapies, some of which are currently available,” he said.

New Hope for Sufferers of Ovarian Cancer

New_Hope_Ovarian_CancerAustralian experts say new drug developments and individualised treatments are bolstering efforts to improve the prognosis for patients with epithelial ovarian cancer.

Professor Martin Oehler, Director of the Department of Gynaecological Oncology at Royal Adelaide Hospital, said the past 20 years had seen little improvement in the detection and treatment of ovarian cancer, but there are now many advances in the pipeline and the research community is ‘very positive and hopeful’.

Epithelial ovarian cancer is the most common type of ovarian cancer and develops in the epithelium, which is the surface of the ovary. There are currently no tests effective enough for a population based screening program for ovarian cancer, and symptoms can often be vague making early diagnosis difficult.

International research efforts have been focused on early detection, and although technical limitations had so far prevented the development of a blood test to detect ovarian cancer researchers are now looking to the disease’s immune signature to aid early detection.

Oncologist Dr Anne Hamilton from the ACRF-funded research institute Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre said ‘the building blocks’ were now starting to fall into place and new drug therapies were showing promise. The Australian Ovarian Cancer Study, for which Dr Hamilton is a scientific advisor, is studying the genetic changes leading to the formation of cancers.

“The study has already identified subgroups of ovarian cancer and what that’s giving us now is an ability to try to tailor treatment to six different types of ovarian cancer rather than one.” Dr Hamilton said.

Researchers have realised that ovarian cancer is a very heterogeneous disease consisting of distinct subtypes of different origin that vary significantly with regard to molecular biology and clinical behaviour. With this increased knowledge, the hope is for the development of more innovative and targeted treatments.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

‘Liquid’ cancer test to replace invasive biopsies

Peter MacCallum Cancer CentreA ‘liquid biopsy’ developed by Melbourne researchers has the potential to determine whether malignant tumours are shrinking, faster and more accurately than ever before. This simple new test would replace invasive tissue biopsies by analysing cancer tumour DNA in the blood.

Clinician researcher Dr Sarah-Jane Dawson from ACRF-funded research institute Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre said looking for this circulating tumour DNA in blood had been like ‘looking for a needle in a haystack’. However new-generation genetic sequencing allows a complete snapshot of the cancer to be captured as it evolves.

“As the cancer cells turn over they release their DNA into the bloodstream. While we’ve known this for some time, it’s only been recently with advances in genomic technologies that we now have sensitive techniques that allow us to very precisely identify this small fraction of tumour DNA in the blood.”

“We think this is a really exciting development and it does hold a lot of promise for making a big difference to the management of cancer patients.” Dr Dawson said.

A clinical trial testing the liquid biopsy in Victorian breast cancer patients is due to begin next year.

Dr Dawson said in an ideal world, regular biopsies would be taken during someone’s treatment. But often that’s not feasible, and it’s invasive.

“By repeating these blood tests regularly, they may give us a very accurate understanding of whether someone is responding to their treatment or not — which is very important for a woman to understand.”

“She doesn’t want to be on a treatment that’s not working, or be exposed unnecessarily to side-effects, when she could be switched to a therapy that could be more effective,” Dr Dawson said.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

VCFG publishes first genome-wide screen

PeterMac_GenomeScreeningThe ACRF-funded Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics (VCFG) at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre has published its first genome-wide screen, in an open-access journal ‘Scientific Data’, allowing researchers around the world to benefit from the findings.

As the lead article in ‘Scientific Data’, which is produced by the prestigious Nature publishing group, the paper details how the VCFG performs genome screens, which help researchers understand the functional role of every gene in the genome in cancer cell growth and cancer cell death.

Continue reading “VCFG publishes first genome-wide screen”

Advances in Leukaemia therapy bring hope to patients worldwide

Westmead - LEUKAEMIA LABTwo Australian research teams have made exciting progress into leukaemia treatments, raising hope for patients around the world suffering from the blood disease.

In a study led by the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Personalised Cancer Medicine, researchers are testing a promising new approach to killing off leukaemia cancer cells.

They have found that cancer cells decide whether to live or die after a short period of intense exposure to a targeted therapy, reducing current treatment time, leading to reduced side effects in patients.

Continue reading “Advances in Leukaemia therapy bring hope to patients worldwide”

Gene discovery could stop spread of cancer

Research-Image4_JLockLHammond1Scientists from The University of Queensland’s Institute of Molecular Bioscience (IMB) have discovered a gene called ccbe1 that could be targeted to help stop the spread of cancer.

Cancer scientist from IMB, Dr Ben Hogan, led a team that discovered how the gene works to.

“Lymphatic vessels carry lymph fluid around the body, transporting important substances like white blood cells, dietary fats and filtering excess fluid from our tissues back into our blood stream,” Dr Hogan said.

Continue reading “Gene discovery could stop spread of cancer”

Global clinical trial shows promise for new lung cancer treatment

Young lung cancer patients in Victoria have become some of the first in the world to benefit from a new targeted therapy which has minimised tumours and improved symptoms in a Phase I clinical trial.

The global clinical trial tested 130 patients with a specific type of lung cancer, containing a change in a gene called ALK.

The ALK gene has been found to create “immortal” cells which never seem to switch off, meaning they are constantly in over-drive, growing and proliferating. A tablet therapy, called ceretinib works as an ALK inhibitor, shrinking tumours and resolving symptoms of the cancer.

Continue reading “Global clinical trial shows promise for new lung cancer treatment”

Unprecedented success in trialling new adult leukaemia therapy

A new, potentially life-saving drug has raised new hope for patients in advanced stages of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia – one of the most common types of adult leukaemia in Australia.

In many cases this cancer becomes resistant to traditional treatment methods such as chemotherapy. This is because of its high levels of a “pro-survival” protein called BCL-2 that render cancer cells, according to Walter and Eliza Hall Institute haematologist Prof. Andrew Roberts “basically indestructible”.

Continue reading “Unprecedented success in trialling new adult leukaemia therapy”

Unravelling ovarian cancer reveals potential new treatment

Researchers have taken another step towards understanding ovarian cancer, and in treating one of the most lethal forms of this elusive disease.

The findings by researchers from Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre build on the understanding that some ovarian cancers are driven by the deactivation of the BRCA 1 gene, especially those with high-grade carcinomas.

‘We now know ovarian cancer is a very diverse disease, analogous to a Russian babushka doll,” said Professor Bowtell, senior author of the study, which was published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“It looks like one doll until you take it apart and find layer after layer — but we’re confident when we have finally separated this cancer into all its molecular groups, we will have a much better chance of improving survival for all women.”

Continue reading “Unravelling ovarian cancer reveals potential new treatment”

$7.5 million in funding to the most promising cancer research in the country!

Funding research - current cancer researchThe Australian Cancer Research Foundation is committed to fighting cancer by funding research, tonight investing a further $7.5 million into the search for the cures.

At the cancer charity’s annual Chairman’s Dinner in Sydney, donors, fundraisers and researchers came together to celebrate the incredible research outcomes made possible through ACRF funding.

They also acknowledged the promising future of cancer research in Australia, as the ACRF made multi-million dollar grants available to three visionary research projects.

The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, and Brisbane’s Diamantina Institute and Centre for Clinical Research all received a significant funding boost of $3.5 million and $2 million each, respectively. At these cancer research centres, the ACRF will be funding research into rare cancers, as well as facilitating world-class, targeted detection and treatment programmes.

Secret of deceptive cancer cells uncovered

Fighting cancerAustralian researchers have discovered a dangerous molecule which convinces the body that cancer cells aren’t a threat.

With this mystery uncovered, researchers can now test new treatments that interrupt this deadly deception.

The research was conducted primarily in the Cellular Immunology Laboratory at Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, with researchers working to investigate why the body is ‘fooled’ into ignoring cancer cells.

Typically, when a cell becomes infected or damaged, it loses its surface molecules which are our body’s marker for ‘safe’ or natural cells. When there are no surface molecules to bind to, our body’s biological security team identifies the cell as dangerous.

But the team at Peter Mac, led by Dr Dan Andrews and Professor Mark Smyth, found that cancer cells can imitate the expression of normal surface molecules with a molecule called H2-M3. Continue reading “Secret of deceptive cancer cells uncovered”

Five of Australia’s best cancer research initiatives in the running for ACRF grants!

The ACRF was thrilled to recently receive 12 applications for our cancer research grants in 2012, representing a need for $41.7 million.

These applications have since been reviewed by our esteemed, independent Medical Research Advisory Committee and a shortlist of five fantastic initiatives has been identified for further assessment.

Each application presents an impressive, visionary project – three of which have been submitted by research centres in Brisbane with one more in each of Sydney and Melbourne.

Each research centre has been invited to submit a follow-up application containing further detail about their research projects, with site visits to be conducted by the Medical Research Advisory Committee in October. The final grant awardees will be announced at our annual Chairman’s Dinner in November 2012.

Centre for Clinical Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane

The UQ Centre for Clinical Research has applied for funding to purchase one of the first commercially available clinical (human) MRI/PET scanners. This application aims to establish a single site facility for clinical oncology imaging with hybrid molecular imaging technology. Continue reading “Five of Australia’s best cancer research initiatives in the running for ACRF grants!”

ACRF announces its cancer research grants shortlist

ACRF cancer research grantsFive of Australia’s best cancer research initiatives are in the running to receive a multi-million dollar grant from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation in 2012.

After an extensive review process, the final grant awardees will be announced at the ACRF’s annual Chairman’s Dinner in November. Continue reading “ACRF announces its cancer research grants shortlist”

Advanced Melanoma – New treatment has the potential to double survival time

One of the first new melanoma treatments to be released in over a decade could double the average survival time for melanoma patients.

The drug, Vemurafenib, was approved by regulators in the United States and Australia last year after studies showed that in a significant number of patients with advanced melanoma, the cancers either stopped growing or shrank after receiving the treatment.

The latest research now shows that in many cases, treatment with Vemurafenib has doubled cancer patients’ survival period from 6-10 months to approximately 16 months. Continue reading “Advanced Melanoma – New treatment has the potential to double survival time”

Global cancer research leaders gather

The Lowy Symposium has revealed significant developments for cancer treatments and cure during what has been an eventful month for researchers leading up to the opening of the new state-of-the-art Lowy Cancer Research Centre.

Australian and international scientists came together to share real-time data on the latest studies, and to engage in discussion and debate for improving future research.

Advanced equipment and technologies, and recent breakthroughs in drug therapies were among the highlights from the symposium.

Associate Professor Ricky Johnstone from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne said: “Throughout the meeting there was an emphasis on the use of cutting-edge platform technologies such as high throughput chemical screening and molecular imaging.”

Researchers also discussed the emergence of sophisticated new methods for discovering cancer drugs. One of those is structural biology, where scientists analyse the structure of protein molecules at a three-dimensional level. Continue reading “Global cancer research leaders gather”

New Cancer Genomics Centre opens in Melbourne

Peter MacCallum Cancer CentreThis morning the Cabinet Secretary of the Parliament of Victoria, Mr Tony Lupton, opened the ACRF Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics (VCFG) at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Support for this cutting-edge resource is centred on $2.5 million in funding from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF).

The ACRF is dedicated to helping find a cure for cancer through the continued support of world-class research in Australia. Fundamental to their vision is the leveraging of funding and resources for the benefit of the wider Australian research community. In supporting the VCFG in Cancer, the ACRF is building on initial funding from the Victorian Department for Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, the Australasian Microarray Associated Technologies Association and the Victorian Cancer Agency, and the support ensures Australia remains at the forefront of global cancer research. Continue reading “New Cancer Genomics Centre opens in Melbourne”

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre opens new facility

The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre will open a new cancer screening facility on 16 March, courtesy of a $2.5 million grant from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF).

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has now awarded grants totalling more than $62 million since being established 25 years ago by Sir Peter Able.

The opening of the ‘Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics in Cancer’ (VFGC) continues the fruitful relationship between the ACRF and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. The ACRF awarded a $1 million grant to ‘Peter Mac’ in 2004 to establish a Cell Biology Program.

Continue reading “Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre opens new facility”

ACRF continues support for Melbourne's PeterMac

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) recently paid the third instalment of a significant financial grant to Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Of the recent $2.5 million grant the ACRF awarded to the institution it has now paid $1,795,996 and Peter Mac has purchased state of the art equipment for gene screening and analysis as part of the ACRF Cancer Genomic Program.

Cancer research at the Peter Mac facility involves over 400 laboratory-based scientists, clinician researchers and support staff, chemists, statisticians, physicists, research nurses and allied health professionals involved in basic, clinical and translational cancer research.

Continue reading “ACRF continues support for Melbourne's PeterMac”

Million dollar 'movies' of cancer cells now showing

Australian Cancer Research Foundation’s $1 million boost for Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

A brand new cancer research facility, made possible with a $1million grant from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF), officially opened today, revealing new technology that will enable researchers to watch real-time digital ‘movies’ of cancer cells.

The ACRF Microscopy Facility at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne – the largest cancer research group in the country – was officially opened by Lady Southey, AM, Lieutenant Governor of Victoria.

The new facility gives researchers the ability to move closer to harnessing the power of people’s immune systems and understanding how to guard against cancer development. The technology for the facility includes a new transmission electron microscope, a confocal imaging system for live cells, and a digital imaging workstation with an immensely improved cell analysis capability.

“This is the kind of major advance in cancer research that the Australian Cancer Research Foundation is committed to funding,” said ACRF Chairman, Mr Tom Dery. “We are optimistic that our generation will be the last to be devastated by cancer and Peter Mac is at the forefront of the latest global advances in treatment and prevention.

Continue reading “Million dollar 'movies' of cancer cells now showing”