After the formal opening, His Excellency the Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), patron of Children’s Cancer Institute, toured the Centre which serves as operational headquarters for the Zero Childhood Cancer program.
Zero Childhood Cancer, launched exactly one year ago, is a national initiative of Children’s Cancer Institute and the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick. It is one of the most ambitious childhood cancer research initiatives ever undertaken in Australia, to tackle the most serious cases of infant, childhood and adolescent cancer.
Speakers at the opening included our Exec Director Professor Michelle Haber AM, Prof Glenn Marshall Am of Kids Cancer Centre, and Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) Chairman Mr Tom Dery AO.
Professor Michelle Haber AM said the need for better treatment options is urgent, with three children dying of cancer in Australia every week, and that, when standard treatments fail, these children have few options and little time.
“The ACRF Child Cancer Personalised Medicine Centre is the centrepiece of the most comprehensive program ever assembled in this country to analyse children’s cancers with a suite of tests, including several advanced gene sequencing [or genomic] tests, as well as drug sensitivity tests to better tailor treatment to the child’s individual cancer.
“The equipment that the $1.5M ACRF grant has generously provided will allow us to rapidly identify targeted treatments to recommend to clinicians in time to guide treatment decisions” she said.
The Centre houses robotics, libraries of known and clinically-approved drugs, expanded tumour bank facilities, tissue culture and a state-of-the-art laboratory information management system.