Discover the latest progress in cancer research, education and clinical care delivered by the MPCCC.

All News
April 12, 2024

MPCCC Precision Treatment Accelerator Grant Recipients Announced

Monash Partners Comprehensive Cancer Consortium (MPCCC) is thrilled to announce the successful applicants of the Precision Treatment Accelerator Grant. The purpose of this grant is to support members of the consortium who are working towards improving the application of precision cancer treatment to patient outcomes across MPCCC partner organisations.

A total of $426,184 has been awarded to four innovative projects, each poised to drive significant progress in precision cancer treatment:

Establishing blood-based liquid biopsies for early detection of high-risk multiple myeloma

This project introduces a simple blood test for Extramedullary Disease (EMD patients). EMD patients are a subgroup of Multiple Myeloma (MM), an incurable blood cancer that affects over 2000 Australians annually. Over the duration of the grant, the project aims to improve early detection of EMD, facilitating urgently required intervention before EMD advances, and enable precise, personalised treatment options and monitoring to enhance patient outcomes.

Dr Nicholas Bingham, Dr Sridurga Mithraprabhu, Prof Andrew Spencer, Prof John Reynolds (Alfred Health)

Clinical utility of liquid biopsy using blood and exhaled breath condensate (EBC) analysis of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

The project aims to prove that ctDNA in plasma and EBC have comparable sensitivity to tissue samples in identifying clinically relevant mutations in NSCLC which may facilitate therapeutic decision making at the time of diagnosis and during treatment. The traditional tumour-biopsy based genotyping has limitations and challenges of insufficient or low-quality tumour DNA as well as limited molecular information. The plasma circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) and exhaled breath concentrate (EBC) can be used to identify lung cancer specific mutations.

Dr Pranav Dorwal, Dr Muhammad Alamgeer, Dr Vinod Ganju (Monash Health)

A precision oncology platform for brain tumours

This project aims to develop a blood-based test to identify mutations in patients with brain tumours, which can be used to monitor progress over time, along with comprehensive anonymised patient data, to help learn how best to apply these results.

Dr Malaka Ameratunga, Dr Lucy Gately, Dr Elizabeth Ahern, Dr Miles Andrews (Alfred Health/ Monash Health)

Integration of Eastern Health MPCCC fellow within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Oncology Service at Eastern Health to improve access to precision cancer program and trial

This project will fund the addition of a dedicated Oncology specialist doctor and researcher to join the emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Oncology Service in Healesville. This doctor will link members of this community who are affected by cancer with the MPCCC to reduce barriers to taking part in clinical trials, educate the community to the availability and benefit of precision oncology, and empower them to make informed choices of cancer research and care.

Dr Lia Papadopoulos, Prof Phillip Parente (Eastern Health)

These projects exemplify MPCCC's dedication to pushing the boundaries of cancer treatment and care. By supporting these initiatives, MPCCC aims to transform the landscape of cancer care delivery and positively impact patient outcomes.

This grant holds the prestige of being the first of its kind for MPCCC and also provides the esteem that comes with being one of four recipients among five of Victoria’s largest public and private cancer health services.

“We are excited to support these four projects as they will build capacity for application of high-quality precision cancer care that will be easily integrated into our busy Molecular Tumour Board program, supporting even more patients and clinicians to access the therapies and clinical trials they need, and thereby addressing the MPCCC's strategic priorities. Congratulations to the successful applicants” said Prof Shakleton.

Prof Southey said the diversity and strength of the applications received was outstanding and illustrative of the huge volume of innovative research that is being pursued collaboratively across our partners.  These awards will accelerate the MPCCC's Precision Cancer program by building on our successful foundation work in solid tumour sequencing to advance cancer care for all.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a grant application. As always, there were more applications worthy of support than we could fund but there are more MPCCC grants on the horizon. To get news and updates about future MPCCC grants and opportunities, please ensure you have subscribed to MPCCC newsletter.