ACRF Tumour Heterogeneity Program

  • Research Institute: Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

  • Amount granted: $2 million

  • Year granted: 2016

ACRF’s grant will see world-leading researchers from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) and the University of Melbourne join forces to address one of the biggest challenges facing cancer research today.

Tumour heterogeneity occurs when more than one distinct cancer mutation exists, either within one tumour or when there are variations of cancer mutations between tumour types. These mutations can evolve differently over time and cause significant challenges in designing effective treatment strategies.

The Program will work towards a better understanding of the diversity of evolutionary changes that result from tumour heterogeneity, gaining information that will be critical to the development of strategies that overcome and/or exploit this diversity and ultimately improve patient survival across many cancer types.

While cancer research efforts have reached a high level of sophistication, knowledge of the full extent of tumour heterogeneity remains limited, hindering efforts to understand patterns of tumour evolution, select effective therapies and combat treatment resistance in the clinical setting.

The program will benefit from new technologies provided by the ACRF grant.

Chief Investigator: Associate Professor Sarah Jane Dawson

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