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Blood Cancer Genomics Trial (MoST-LLy)

A new clinical trial research program offering Australians with blood cancer genomic screening and potential access to precision medicines.

The Blood Cancer Genomics Trial (MoST-LLy) research program will leverage the science powering the Molecular Screening and Therapeutics Program (MoST) – a clinical trial which until now has focused only on solid tumours.  

The trial will initially focus on high grade lymphomas and acute leukaemias. These types of blood cancer are aggressive, with few treatment options available for people who don’t respond to initial treatment or when they relapse.  

Using the science of genomic testing and precision medicine, this trial aims to identify the best treatment for each individual patient, with the potential for improved survival, fewer side effects and greater quality of life. 

Genomic testing informs precision medicine – that is, it helps identify the best treatment for each individual patient, with the potential for improved survival, fewer side effects and greater quality of life. 

The Blood Cancer Genomics Trial will provide a new model of rapid clinical translation and access to novel treatments for high-risk blood cancers in Australia, with findings that may change the management of advanced blood cancers and improve patient outcomes.

The importance of improving access to genomic screening and clinical trials cannot be overstated. If we are to have any hope of reducing blood cancer mortality in this country, we must shift our focus away from treating blood cancer subtypes with a ‘one size fits all’ approach and towards targeted therapies

Chris Tanti, CEO, Leukaemia Foundation.

Wondering how genomic testing worksWatch our simple explainer video here.  

When it comes to cancer treatment, we know one size doesn’t fit all. That’s why the Blood Cancer Genomics Trial is so important – offering fresh hope to patients including Brisbane man Rob Spall.

Back in 2014, Rob was enjoying his retirement when he started to experience repeated vomiting. Sent for scans, he was quickly diagnosed with a type of blood cancer called non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

“Rob had been reasonably well,” recalls his wife Lyn. “So it was a big shock. We knew absolutely nothing about blood cancer.”

Receiving chemotherapy and radiation as an out-patient, Rob reached remission, but unfortunately his blood cancer returned in 2018.

Told there were no more treatment options available, Rob, Lyn and their family – including four children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren – were distraught.

Only when their doctor suggested a clinical trial did hope return, in the form of the Blood Cancer Genomics Trial – a project that’s jointly funded by the Leukaemia Foundation and Tour de Cure.

The Blood Cancer Genomics Trial will provide a new model of rapid clinical translation and access to novel treatments for high-risk blood cancers in Australia – identifying the best treatment for each individual.

Robert Spall, right, and his wife, left, smile for the camera
Lyn and Rob Spall now have hope for the future

In Rob’s case, genomic screening informed a treatment plan that includes twice-daily pills and a monthly infusion of chemotherapy. Having already witnessed the decrease of an existing tumour by 48%, Rob’s doctors are very pleased with his progress, and his family are extremely grateful.

“When we were first told that nothing could be done, we were all devastated,” says Lyn. “Because of this clinical trial, we now have hope. Our children are all so happy Rob’s got another chance.”

  • Genomic screening has revolutionised understanding of blood cancers and paved the way to a new generation of new precision medicines, where treatments are targeted based on an individual’s blood cancer genomic profile. Until recently it has been almost impossible to target treatments to a person’s unique genetic makeup, resulting in a ‘one size fits all’ approach to treatment.
  • Genomic profiling is required for accurate subtype diagnosis and the subsequent treatment of blood cancer patients. Through genomic profiling, clinicians can more precisely match patients to targeted therapies. These efforts are critical to the expansion of precision medicine and the realisation of curative therapies.
  • The National Strategic Action Plan for Blood Cancer includes recommendations around genetic screening, including developing guidelines for diagnostics and reviewing Australia’s capacity to meet these guidelines, as well as recommendations to enable access to novel and specialised therapies, including actions to improve equitable access to these therapies and making precision medicine the standard of care.

The Leukaemia Foundation and Tour de Cure are proud to be the joint driving force behind the Blood Cancer Genomics Trial: a powerful partnership between researchers and medical centres across the country.

The Leukaemia Foundation and Tour de Cure co-funded $1.8 million towards this program to pilot the screening of 240 patients. This initial investment has allowed screening and enrollment to open to patients at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and Royal Adelaide Hospital and SA Pathology providing molecular screening for the program across both states. 

Additional Funding and expansion of the Blood Cancer Genomics Trial (MoST-LLy)

We are happy to announce that the Blood Cancer Genomics Trial (MoST-LLy) has also been awarded additional $2.7 million in funding from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) which will allow the trial to expand to other sites.

The Blood Cancer Genomics trial is now opening at Linear Clinical Research in Perth (mid 2022) and will be led by Dr Carolyn Grove, Clinical and Laboratory Haematologist at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Linear Clinical Research and PathWest.

We would like to thank long term supporter Tim Goyder and his networks for their generous support which has facilitated the WA expansion of the Blood Cancer Genomics Trial

Interested patients should discuss this trial with their haematologist.

Tour de Cure

This is a collaboration between the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Royal Adelaide Hospital, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, SA Pathology, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Liniear Clinical Research in Western Australia, Omico (the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre) and the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre at the University of Sydney.  

Hear from Professor Steven Lane about how the Blood Cancer Genomics Trial (MoST-LLy) works.