Research Institute: Western Australian Institute for Medical Research
Amount granted: $2.4 million
Year granted: 2010
This grant honours the memory of the late Mr Kevin McCusker who made a generous donation to ACRF through his Will. According to his family, Mr McCusker was a quiet and unassuming man of strong principles and deep feelings and made this bequest because people he loved had died from cancer.
Mr McCusker’s donation helped fund a state-of-the-art imaging facility to maximise Western Australia’s capacity to promote innovation in cancer research. The grant helped establish a world class integrated preclinical and clinical Cancer Imaging Facility in Perth.
The equipment purchased with the grant included a state-of-the-art imaging suite and cutting edge optical imaging endomicroscopes. They significantly expanded cancer imaging capability in WA with the addition of microMagnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) multifunctional microPositron Emission Tomography (PET), Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) combined with X-ray Computed Tomography (PET/CT/SPECT) scanner, together with additional cutting-edge confocal fluorescent imaging equipment which will be further developed by CMCA.
Imaging for cancer management and diagnosis in humans is fundamental. And equally in pre-clinical models of cancer, it’s a central part of cancer research. The small animal PET scanner (the first of its kind in WA) will enabled WAIMR to image cancer progression in animals like never before, enabling them to monitor for the first time tumour development, angiogenesis, metastasis and response to novel therapeutics in a range of well-developed preclinical animal models.
As well as the WAIMR, the PET scanner will also be used by WA experts in their fields at the University of WA, QEII Medical Centre, Royal Perth Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, the Lions Eye Institute and Pathwest.
Chief Investigators: Prof Peter Leedman, Prof Ruth Ganss, Prof YC Gary Lee, Adjunct Professor Richard Lake, Prof David Sampson, Prof Peter Klinken
What your donations have achieved
Cervical cancer vaccine
We gave initial seed funding to Professor Ian Frazer’s research into the cervical cancer (HPV). Over 150 million doses of vaccine have been delivered worldwide to date.
The pill that melts away cancer
Our long term support of cancer research at WEHI has led to a treatment that melts away certain advanced forms of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. It has been approved for clinical use in the US, European Union and Australia and is being trialled for other types of cancer.
Personalised cancer diagnosis
In 2015, we awarded $10 million seed funding to an ambitious cancer proteome project that aims to provide each cancer patient a personalised treatment plan within 36 hours. This will improve treatment outcomes and help avoid unnecessary treatments.
Zero childhood cancer
We are one of the founding partners of the initiative that will tackle the most serious cases of infant, childhood and adolescent cancer in Australia. It is a key step towards the program vision of one day helping to cure 100% of children with cancer.