ACRF Program for Resolving Cancer Complexity and Therapeutic Resistance

  • Research Institute: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research

  • Amount granted: $3.5 million

  • Year granted: 2019

A grant of $3.5 Million has been awarded to Australia’s oldest medical research institute, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. The grant will be the sixth ACRF-funded program awarded to Institute and will see the development of The ACRF Program for Resolving Cancer Complexity and Therapeutic Resistance.

It will focus on the discovery of triggers that drive cancer development, how genetic diversity in cancers affects treatment efficacy, and develop better ways of personalising cancer therapies to conquer the biggest challenges in cancer today – predicting and improving patients’ treatment response and overcoming drug resistance.

The ACRF investment will enable a major program of research, focused on analysis of single cells taken from patient tumours and models for a range of cancers. The multidisciplinary collaborative team will include 19 cancer experts and their teams from across the Institute, who are accomplished leaders in breast, ovarian, lung and pancreatic cancers, acute and chronic leukaemias, lymphoma and myeloma.

“The complexity and diversity of cancers at a single cell level, and the cells that make up the tumour microenvironment, is poorly understood, and in many cases, it is difficult to predict how a patient will respond to therapy,” Chief Investigator, Professor Clare Scott said.

“This important investment from the ACRF will enable us to gain a deeper understanding of how cancers develop at a single cell level, leading to breakthroughs in how we personalise cancer therapy that will have a real impact for patients in the future, improving treatment response and overcoming treatment resistance.”

Kerry Strydom ACRF CEO “ACRF, with guidance and direction from our Medical Research Advisory Committee, seek out the boldest and most innovative cancer research projects each year. Australia is constantly punching above its weight in the area of cancer research and these two visionary projects are proof of that. We hope to see both projects producing findings that will support and improve the outcome of each individual diagnosed with this devasting disease.”