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$10 million grant awarded for bold new vision in cancer research

20 January 2016

University of Sydney Professors to run world-first cancer research clinic.

Mr Tom Dery AO (ACRF Chairman), Prof Phil Robinson, Prof Roger Reddel. Credit: CMRI

The Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI), affiliate of University of Sydney, has been awarded a $10 million grant to help develop the first cancer research clinic of its kind in the world.

Awarded by the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF), the grant will establish The ACRF International Centre for the Proteome of Cancer (ProCan) at Westmead. The grant is one of the largest private donations for medical research equipment in Australia's history.

The research centre will be led by University of Sydney Professors Roger Reddel and Phillip Robinson.

Over the next five years, scientists at CMRI will work with leading researchers to analyse 70,000 examples of all types of cancer from around the world to develop a bank of information to advance scientific discovery and enhance clinical treatment globally.

New technology called PCT-SWATH mass spectrometry will be used to rapidly measure the precise levels of many thousands of proteins in very small cancer biopsies.

“ProCan will provide a major step forward for cancer diagnosis and treatment of Australians,” said co-lead on the project Professor Roger Reddel, Director of CMRI.

“The end result will be rapid and more accurate prediction of the best cancer treatments for each individual patient.”

Professor Phillip Robinson said the ACRF grants asked for a bold new vision for cancer research that would have a significant impact on cancer prevention, detection and treatment.

“We’re extremely grateful to ACRF and their donors for this opportunity to do something unique in cancer research and treatment,” he said.

“It's incredibly exciting and an honour that they've put this huge trust in us.”

Further funding is still needed to achieve phase two of the project, which will use advanced computer analysis techniques to compare the protein data with the information that is already available for each cancer, including genetic analyses, pathology test results, and any previous responses to cancer treatment.

"It will give patients and their physicians treatment options they've never had before," Professor Reddel said.


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