Last week, a delegation of key Lions Clubs members from Australia and overseas visited our laboratories to see personalised medicine in progress and meet our research leaders.

Lions’ visionary support formed the Lions Kids Cancer Genome Project, announced in May as a key component of the Zero Childhood Cancer personalised medicine program. Zero Childhood Cancer is led by scientists and clinicians from Children’s Cancer Institute and Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.

The $4 million Lions Kids Cancer Genome Project aims to improve outcomes for children with high-risk cancer through whole genome sequencing and analysis at the Garvan Institute, valued research partners in Zero Childhood Cancer and hosts of the Lions’ Sydney visit on 5-8 September.

The Lions delegation was headed by Dr Jitsuhiro Yamada, Chairman of the Lions Club International Foundation and the immediate past International President. Dr Yamada, a neurosurgeon with a keen interest in medical research, played an important role in securing the $4 million Lions commitment to funding required for the three-year Project. It represents one of the largest single philanthropic gifts for children’s cancer in Australia.

Genome sequencing for kids’ high-risk cancer

In its first three years, the Project will provide whole genome sequencing and analysis for 400 children with high-risk cancer in Australia who will be enrolled in the Zero Childhood Cancer Program – one of the most detailed genetic and biological analyses of a child’s cancer globally to date. Whole genome sequencing will take place following diagnosis or relapse of cancers with the poorest prognoses, such as brain tumours.

After visiting Children’s Cancer Institute, the delegation toured the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, clinical leaders of the Zero Childhood Cancer Program. The visit was hosted by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and Garvan’s Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, where genome sequencing and analysis for the Kids Cancer Genome Project will take place. The Centre is the largest genome sequencing facility in the southern hemisphere.

Read more about Lions’ landmark contribution to Zero Childhood Cancer and more about the recent visit to the Lions Kids Cancer Genome Project on the Garvan Institute website.

Pic: Dr Jitsuhiro Yamada, Chairman of the Lions Club International Foundation and immediate past International President, Prof Michelle Haber AM, Executive Director, Children’s Cancer Institute and (far right) Prof Glenn Marshall, Kids’ Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick with the Lions delegation.



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