Media Release: 17 May 2013
Both the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and St Vincent’s Hospital have welcomed the Federal Government’s foreshadowed announcement in this week’s budget of $5.5 million over 4 years to The Kinghorn Cancer Centre’s National Prostate Cancer Research Centre.
“This injection of funds is tremendous news for men affected by, and at risk of, prostate cancer, which is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in Australia and which takes the lives of over 3,000 men every year,” said Professor Allan Spigelman, Acting Director, The Kinghorn Cancer Centre.
“The money will be applied to the latest technologies, methods and therapies to speed the translation of research into clinical care and facilitate more precise and personalised care for patients.”
Opened late last year by Prime Minister Gillard, The Kinghorn Cancer Centre is a joint venture between the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and St Vincent’s Hospital, bringing together Garvan’s cutting-edge medical research with St Vincent’s clinical expertise.
The centre’s approach to personalised medicine places the patient at the centre of all decisions, maximising the rapid translation of research findings to new approaches to cancer diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
Each patient’s tumour will be sequenced and analysed, and that genetic profile will suggest the best treatment options available at that time.
Knowledge of ‘biomarkers’, molecular aberrations that can be targeted by potential or existing drugs, is continually expanding, bringing with it an expansion of treatment options through time. This will complement and build on the extensive existing work into new imaging techniques, new therapies and quality of life outcome research.
"This funding is a welcome boost to prostate cancer research in Australia, and will enable the Kinghorn to accelerate the application of advanced genomic technologies and other state-of-the-art techniques to improve the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. It will also enable the Kinghorn to strengthen its ties with international prostate cancer research centres, notably Weill Cornell in New York,” said Professor John Mattick, Executive Director of Garvan.
Associate Professor Phillip Stricker, Clinical Director Prostate Cancer Research at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, and prostate cancer surgeon for over 20 years, has been a key driver of collaborative work on prostate cancer between Garvan and St Vincents, and concurs with Professor Mattick on the importance of international ties.
“The two organisations have already built a strong international reputation for the quality of their combined prostate cancer research, and this funding will further bolster that,” said Associate Professor Stricker.
“Over many years, the Garvan and St Vincents Prostate Cancer Centre has pioneered new diagnostic techniques, introduced new biomarkers for early and advanced prostate cancer, and introduced the study of quality of life outcomes. Genomic research is a strong and welcome addition to an already-potent arsenal of tools.”
“We are very proud of the fact we have developed the largest tissuebank and database in the southern hemisphere, now housed at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre. It stores the information from over 12,000 men, including tumour and blood samples. This will continue to aid all researchers, as well as foster existing strong collaborations, both national and international.”
Head of Garvan’s Cancer Research Division, Professor Susan Clark, affirmed the value of the prostate cancer tissue bank, underlining its usefulness for prostate cancer biology research and prostate cancer biomarker discovery and validation. “This essential funding will ensure that we can continue to translate our basic molecular biology discoveries to advance individualised prostate cancer patient care,” she said.
ABOUT ST VINCENT'S
St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney is Australia’s second oldest hospital and forms the centre of one of the country’s largest research and biotechnology precincts on which several prominent research institutes are located. A major public teaching hospital, St Vincent’s has a long-standing reputation for both its research focus and treating high acuity and complex patients, attracting referrals on a state-wide and national basis.
ABOUT THE KINGHORM CANCER CENTRE
The Kinghorn Cancer Centre is a joint venture between the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and St Vincent’s Hospital, combining scientific and medical expertise to provide a personalised medicine approach to the treatment and care of cancer patients. It forms part of the St Vincent’s Research Precinct, the largest medical research precinct in NSW, which also comprises the St Vincent’s Centre for Applied Medical Research, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, the Kirby Institute and other leading research bodies.