$1 Million Investment in Childhood Cancer Research

The Children’s Cancer Foundation is committed to investing in Melbourne as a global leader in childhood cancer research. Today the Foundation announced funding of more than $1 million awarded to Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. 

This funding, to support three new innovative research projects over the next 3 years, brings the Foundation’s long-term support of MCRI to $3 million. 

A grant of more than $460,000 will go to a new research project that will harness a recent breakthrough in stem cell technology to compare normal blood cells with blood cells carrying cancer-causing genes. Importantly, this work will improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms causing childhood leukaemia and help identify new drug targets to improve outcomes for these children. Read more.

More than $280,000 will go to a new project that will revolutionise cancer diagnosis and treatment by providing new insights into the mechanisms that drive paediatric cancer. The project will use an advanced technique called ‘RNA-sequencing’ to read the genetic code in cancer cells and identify the changes that are the cause of the cancer. This new technique is potentially more comprehensive in identifying all the clinically important genomic features of cancers than current testing methods. Read more.

A further $270,000 will go towards improving our understanding of childhood brain cancer and solid tumours. Researchers will undertake a highly detailed genetic investigation to identify genes that fuse to cause cancer and then to explore the factors that cause these alterations and the interaction between them. They will also develop a methodology and testing platform to identify the genomic profiles of solid tumours in blood samples through ‘liquid biopsy’. This technique has the potential to identify the presence and nature of a tumour before any major surgery or other biopsy technique, much like prenatal blood testing for women in early pregnancy. This work has the promise to provide less invasive methods for diagnosis and to track disease responses. Read more.