Research Institute: Melbourne Cancer Research Consortium
Amount granted: $5 million
Year granted: 2006
The Australian Cancer Research Foundation awarded $5 million to a consortium of leading cancer research institutes to support work that will bring new hope to cancer sufferers. The grant was in honour of Sir Peter Abeles, AC who founded ACRF.
The grant was awarded to an alliance comprising the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Royal Women’s Hospital, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and The University of Melbourne (Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences).
The consortium applied the $5 million grant to establish the ACRF Centre for Therapeutic Target Discovery, potentially forming a scientific cornerstone of the first comprehensive cancer centre established in Australia. The centre created an innovative Australian-first collaborative and integrated cancer research centre, where clinicians, diagnosing and treating cancer patients, work closely with scientists researching the disease.
This initiative signified the beginning of an Australia-first integrated cancer research project which was expected to widen in scope to encompass new research approaches. The consortium, led by A/Prof Geoffrey Lindeman, focused initially on specific diseases including bowel and breast cancer.
The consortium had already made significant progress in drug discovery research and this is expected to result in the development of new experimental therapies for cancer sufferers according to Professor Hilton at WEHI.
This research led to the development of Venetoclax, a treatment that “melts away cancer”.
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.