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

December 11, 2015

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) has awarded one of the largest private grants for medical research equipment in Australian history – $10 million – 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.”

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 unique in cancer research and treatment,” said Professor Phil Robinson.

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 Ian Brown, CEO of ACRF .


Images courtesy of CMRI.
Above: Professors Roger Reddel and Phil Robinson
Cover: Protein Calcineurin A Fragment Calcineurin B Fkbp12 Fk506

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