South Australian researchers to develop cutting edge genetic testing
Tuesday, 16 April 2019
The Leukaemia Foundation is funding a cutting-edge diagnostic test that would help clinicians identify specific gene mutations to offer more effective, targeted treatments for Australians living with blood cancer.
The SA Genomics Haematology Malignancies Node will have the first of three tests available across Australia in six months. This first test, which will sequence 38 genes at the same time – would initially be for people living with a range of myeloid neoplasms – allowing clinicians to identify mutations and then treat them with precision medicines, specific to that genetic anomaly.
At this time next year, clinicians would have access to a second test for myeloma – and a third innovative test for lymphoid malignancies would also be well into development.
Leukaemia Foundation CEO Petch said this type of genetic testing and personalised medicines were exciting examples of the innovation taking place in the treatment of blood cancers.
“We are in a very exciting phase of blood cancer treatment where medicine is riding possibly the biggest wave of innovation we have ever seen. Thanks to Australian scientists like these we are revolutionising the way we identify blood cancers, and ultimately how we can treat them more effectively,” Mr Petch said.
“The holy grail is precision medicine, and these types of innovations are some of the most significant advancements in this space.
“Although we can’t yet cure blood cancer, these types of innovations in blood cancer treatment is taking us closer every day.”
The SA Genomics Haematology Malignancies Node has received a $200,000 grant from the Leukaemia Foundation’s National Research Program which will enable the appointment of a medical scientist and bioinformatician for the next two years.
“Having these dedicated staff will help support the group take the tests all the way from concept, through development and strict (National Australian Therapeutics Association (NATA) accreditation, to eventually offering it as a standard of care diagnostic test,” Mr Petch said.
“The Leukaemia Foundation is committed to funding this type of research which is leading Australians closer and closer to a cure,” Mr Petch said.
Further support is critical to ensure all Australians can reap the benefits of genomic medicine, helping people to see beyond blood cancer. If you would like to invest in this new frontier of blood cancer research, contact us 1800 620 420 today to find out how.