Peter Mac News

Official opening of new cellular therapies unit at Peter Mac

27 March 2024

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Victoria’s health minister has officially opened a state-of-the art unit providing patients with access to the latest in cellular therapies at Peter Mac.

The dedicated unit provides cutting edge world-class comprehensive care for haematology and medical oncology patients who are receiving cell-based therapies, including CAR T-cell therapy and stem cell transplants.

Peter Mac Chief Executive, Professor Jason Payne, said the unit provides a specialised ‘home base’ where patients can receive all their treatments in one place.

“It is exciting to stand here in this thoughtfully designed space, which has a real warmth to it,” Professor Payne said at the launch on Wednesday. 

“It is even more wonderful to see patients receiving the very latest in cancer treatments here, with the care, kindness and expertise Peter Mac is famous for.

“I would like to thank Health Minister Mary-Ann Thomas for opening the unit today and to the Victorian government for their operational support of this project, and their ongoing belief in the great potential of cell-based therapies.”

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Opening the unit represents the final step in delivering three major cellular therapy initiatives at Peter Mac – all made possible by an $80 million investment from the Federal Government plus a further $25 million from Peter Mac and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation.

In addition, this co-investment funded the establishment of a Centre of Excellence in Cellular Immunotherapy laboratory - and funds the ongoing clinical trial development program to advance the science of cell-based treatments.

It also funded the construction of expanded clean-room and other cellular therapy manufacturing facilities - operated by Cell Therapies Pty Ltd - and which opened on Level 9 earlier this year.

Professor Simon Harrison, who heads up the Centre of Excellence for Cellular Immunotherapy, said the unit was staffed with a world class team.

“I would like to acknowledge Nurse Unit Manager Shae Disney and the ANUMS, Clinical Nurse Consultants, Haematologists, and other admin and patient services staff for their hard work and dedication to get this unit up and running,” Professor Harrison said.

“With this clinical unit and the manufacturing facilities now complete, we can now focus on funding and facilitating the Centre of Excellence in Cellular Immunotherapy’s research pipeline, designed to help rapidly translate new cellular immunotherapy technologies into the clinic.”

The new 1E unit is open to patients from 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.