Improve outcomes

“For the first time we have a real opportunity to improve the outcomes for rare cancer patients across Australia.”

Professor David Thomas

Garvan’s Genomic Cancer Medicine Program has the power to improve outcomes for cancer patients across Australia.

Professor David Thomas is dedicating his life to science, seeking cures for people with rare cancers. He champions the idea of putting people at the centre of research, whether they are the researchers in his team, the patients he is looking after or the community that are helping fund the research.

In this video, Prof David Thomas tells you why he’s so passionate about cancer research and why he believes that research funding directly correlates with survival rates.


Prof David Thomas explains how more funding will help Garvan’s cancer research – taking ideas from the lab directly to help patients.

We are championing genomic cancer medicine

Genomic research uses genome sequencing to study the genetic information we inherit from our parents.

The Genomic Cancer Medicine Program (GCMP) is looking at cancer in a new way. Using state of the art technology, the team are looking at the genetic profiles of rare cancers to try and improve survival rates. We already have two exciting studies proving that we can identify new treatment options, improving the lives of individual patients.

Molecular Screening and Therapeutics (MoST) uses genomic/molecular screening to determine which patients will benefit most from which new therapies. Targeted therapies are assigned based on particular genetic alternations of the tumours, rather than the anatomical location of the tumour. MoST is already proving we can identify new treatment options for a significant portion of patients who previously had none.

Our Genetic Cancer Risk in the Young Study (RiSC) aims to improve survival rates by detecting cancers earlier than ever before. We know that the younger a person is, the more likely it will be that genetics is involved in their cancer. Genome sequencing is used to identify people at increased cancer risk. Those with an increased risk are then given whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to reveal any tumours they may have. RiSC is already saving lives by allowing cancers to be detected at a curable stage.

Together we can save more lives

At Garvan, we’re grateful and rely on our committed supporters. We wouldn’t be able to accomplish what we have so far without you. Together we can continue to make significant discoveries that will change the directions of science and medicine, and improve the health of humans into the future. Being a part of the Garvan community right now is to be part of an incredible scientific revolution.

Neglected Cancers Awareness Week

In the first Neglected Cancers Awareness Week – from 19 to 25 June – the Garvan Institute calls for improved outcomes for those affected by neglected cancers.

Why rare cancer research?

Rare cancers make up just 2% of all cancers but account for one in six cancer deaths.

Download this booklet to read more about how we’re using genomics to improve survival rates.