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Center for Clinical Research into Cancer Opens in Australia

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Kinghorn Cancer Centre in Sydney, which will focus on clinical research for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer, officially opened today.

The A$128 million (US$133 million) center is a joint venture between the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and St. Vincent's Hospital and is billed as Sydney's first major cancer research and treatment center. It brings together 250 researchers and clinicians from across St. Vincent's campus into one site "to find personalized solutions to each person's cancer by fundamentally understanding each individual's needs at the molecular level," the center said in a statement.

By using biomarkers, the researchers aim to provide doctors the ability to sub-stratify patients so that targeted therapies can match each patient's genetic profile and treatment efficacy can be improved.

"The Centre’s approach to personalized medicine places the patient at the centre of all decisions, maximizing the rapid translation of research findings to new approaches to cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prevention," Professor Rob Sutherland, director of The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, said. "This will spare individuals from side effects of treatment from which they won’t actually benefit, and more expeditiously get them the therapies that will be specifically effective for them and in the process save the health system money."

Work at Kinghorn will focus on breakthroughs in novel diagnostic, prognostic, and treatment options for several key national health priority cancers, such as breast, prostate, gastrointestinal, and non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The research will not necessarily be directed at high-throughput treatments, it said, but instead will seek to deliver targeted, cost-effective, personalized therapies that can be integrated into larger nationwide cancer treatment services.

Funding for the center comes from the federal government, which provided a A$70 million grant from the Health and Hospital Fund, and from major philanthropic support.

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