Finding cures for children's genetic diseases

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$10 million for world-first ‘proteome’ of human cancer project

10/Dec/2015  

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) today announced one of the largest private grants for medical research equipment in Australian history - $10 million - earmarked for six cutting-edge machines that will establish The ACRF International Centre for the Proteome of Cancer (ProCanTM) at Children’s Medical Research Institute in Westmead.

Over the next 5 years, scientists at Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) will analyse tens of thousands of examples of all types of cancer from all over the world to develop a library of information to advance scientific discovery and enhance clinical treatment worldwide.

“ProCan will provide a major step forward for cancer diagnosis and treatment of Australians,” said Professor Roger Reddel, Director of CMRI and co-lead on the project. “The end result will be rapid and more accurate prediction of the best cancer treatments for each individual patient.”
 

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The Children’s Medical Research Institute, NSW ($10.0 million) for “The ACRF International Centre for the Proteome of Human Cancer”.  To be received by Professor Phillip Robinson (Children's Medical Research Institute, Sydney) and Professor Roger Reddel (Director, Children's Medical Research Institute, Sydney).
 Presented by ACRF Chairman Mr Tom Dery AO.


The Centre will be led by CMRI Professors Phil Robinson and Roger Reddel in partnership with technology experts, such as Professor Ruedi Aebersold in Zurich. New technology called PCT-SWATH mass spectrometry will be used to rapidly and simultaneously measure the precise levels of many thousands of proteins in very small cancer biopsies. Working with leading cancer researchers throughout Australia and around the world, the Centre will analyse about 70,000 samples of all types of cancer, including leukaemia.

“ACRF is a unique organisation because of its commitment to funding major equipment and bold initiatives. We’re extremely grateful to ACRF and their donors in the community for this opportunity to do something truly unique in cancer research and treatment,” said Professor Phil Robinson.

“Our 30th Anniversary Grant for $10 million is something ACRF is very proud of,” said Professor Ian Brown, CEO of ACRF. “We knew this amount of money could make a real difference, stimulate new ideas and bring us closer to our goal which is to end cancer.”

“ACRF challenged the Australian cancer research community to propose projects that were bold and that would have a very significant impact on cancer prevention, detection and treatment. The response was tremendous with six very impressive projects submitted.”

Our international judges were impressed both by the quality and vision of the applications and the high standard of Australian research. CMRI was chosen after lengthy discussion to be the best of the best.”

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.

“ACRF stands behind ProCan because we believe it will not only advance basic research into new and better cancer treatments but soon it will also help doctors rapidly choose the best existing treatment for their patients,” said Professor Brown.