ACRF provides $4m for promising cancer research at UQ

19 Nov 2012

Targeted cancer detection and treatment programs at The University of Queensland will be advanced following $4 million funding announced by the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF). 

At the cancer charity’s annual Chairman’s Dinner in Sydney, donors, fundraisers and researchers came together to celebrate the incredible research outcomes made possible through ACRF funding. 

They also acknowledged the promising future of cancer research in Australia, as the ACRF made multi-million dollar grants available to three visionary research projects. 

The ACRF will support The UQ Diamantina Institute and The UQ Centre for Clinical Research, and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, with a total $7.5 million funding for the three programs. 

UQ Diamantina Institute Director Professor Matt Brown said, “The ACRF has afforded The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute the opportunity to create a comprehensive cancer care centre, partnering with Princess Alexandra Hospital clinicians and UQ clinician researchers to translate scientific discoveries into technologies that will advance the fight against cancer. 

"This is a time of great opportunity to bring science to the clinic and we look forward to furthering the ACRF’s commitment to fighting cancer through world-class research.” 

Executive Dean of the UQ Faculty of Health Sciences Professor Nick Fisk said: "The imaging grant is a solid example of collaboration between Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, The University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology on the Herston Campus. 

"The molecular scanning equipment will improve patient outcomes through earlier diagnosis and tailored treatment, accelerate clinical trials to get new therapies evaluated sooner, and help develop novel approaches to tracking and destroying cancer cells." 

Funding to UQ was: 

$2 million: The UQ Centre for Clinical Research will receive funding to provide state-of-the-art imaging equipment to help establish the ARCF Molecular Oncology Translational Imaging Facility. In particular, a contribution to the purchase of a PET/CT machine and costs associated with housing MRI/PET and PET/CT hybrid scanners within the facility. This technology allows exact location of metabolically active tumour tissues, and will enhance progress into cancer detection and treatment at the centre. The analysis of brain tumours, head and neck cancers, ovarian and prostate cancers will be a particular focus of this world-class research team. 

$2 million: Individualised oncology care at the UQ Diamantina Institute. The UQ Diamantina Institute (now a three-time ACRF grant recipient), has been awarded seed-funding for a new Individualised Oncology Care centre located at the University’s Princess Alexandra Hospital campus. The new facility will integrate lab-based research with clinical studies and trials at the patient bedside, focusing primarily on skin cancers, breast cancers, leukaemia and lymphoma. 

The ACRF also provided $3.5 million for research into rare cancers at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne. With this funding, Peter Mac will develop a new facility which specialises in rare tumour research, called the ACRF Advanced Centre for Cancer Cell Isolation and Imaging.