3 August 2012
Breast cancer receives $2.5 million for clinical research
A personalised approach for the treatment of breast cancer has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC), Federal Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, announced this week.
The Australian Centre for Translational Breast Cancer Research (TransBCR), which is a new collaborative $2.5 million centre seeking to fast-track promising new discoveries in breast cancer to the clinic, has been funded for five years through the NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence program.
Professor Geoff Lindeman, from The Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, who will lead the research, said TransBCR will take a new and individualised approach to the treatment of breast cancer.
“We will carry out early-phase clinical trials of novel anti-breast cancer drugs based on specific tumour markers. Our goal is to ensure that promising new drugs can be properly evaluated. We are keen to enable the swift transition of successful drugs to the clinic. In the longer-term our goal is to ensure that the right drugs can be selected for every breast cancer patient,” Professor Lindeman said.
“It is fantastic that the federal government has invested in translating breast cancer research from bench to bedside, to help more than 13,700 Australians diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and 2800 women who die from the disease.
“In Australia, one in nine women will develop breast cancer by the age of 85, but the types of breast cancer they will develop vary greatly.
“We need to continue to find new treatments and methods of identifying the best treatment for each individual patient, based on their particular cancer type, and this new collaboration will go a long way to helping us realise that.”
Professor Lindeman added the TransBCR goal will be to help create a swift delivery system for cost-effective, personalised medicine for Australian breast cancer patients.
The Australian Centre for Translational Breast Cancer Research will focus on three themes: undertaking early clinical trials to accelerate the evaluation of promising new breast cancer treatments; collecting clinical trial samples to help identify new cancer cell markers that will help to predict a patient’s prognosis and alter their treatment in ‘real-time’; and economic modelling to inform the cost-effectiveness of breast cancer therapies in Australia.
Professor Lindeman said the aim will be to help bridge the current gap between world-class Australian research discoveries and their timely clinical application for breast cancer patients.
“TransBCR will benefit laboratory research and clinical care, as well as assist in training and mentoring the next generation of clinicians and clinical researchers to help Australia maintain its international reputation in breast cancer research,” Professor Lindeman said.
The Australian Centre for Translational Breast Cancer Research is a collaboration between a number of Australian research institutes and hospitals including, in Melbourne, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Royal Women’s Hospital, and University of Melbourne. In Sydney, The Kinghorn Cancer Centre at the Garvan Institute, Lifehouse at Royal Prince Alfred/Sydney Cancer Centre, the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre and Sydney Catalyst.
The centre will use research coming out of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre when it opens in 2015, the Kinghorn Cancer Centre/Garvan Institute, in partnership with Cancer Trials Australia and the ANZ Breast Cancer Trials Group.
Funding for the centre will commence in 2012.
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