It's been another exciting year full of world leading cancer research and care at Peter Mac. Take a look back at some of the highlights of 2018.
- Researchers from Peter Mac were the recipients of half of the available 14 Victorian Cancer Agency grants
Peter Mac’s funding, totalling almost $3.5M, is supporting a range of research projects including into prostate cancer, breast cancer, neuroendocrine tumours and blood cancers.
- Peter Mac manuscript announced in top 10 of 2017
A Peter Mac-led study was selected as one of the 10 most outstanding manuscripts for 2017 by editors of the prestigious haematology journal Blood, strengthening our international reputation as a leader in blood cancer research. Peter Mac/RMH haematologist, Director of Clinical Aphaeresis and Myeloma Group Lead, A/Prof Simon Harrison, was the senior author on the study, involving an international team of researchers including from the Nantes University Hospital in France, AbbVie and Prof Andrew Roberts from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI). READ MORE.
- Funding for important Peter Mac ovarian cancer research TRACEBACK
The Federal Government committed $2.96 million to fund TRACEBACK, a ground-breaking collaboration between Peter Mac’s Prof David Bowtell and Ovarian Cancer Australia, involves genetic testing around 1,500 tissue specimens collected from Australian women diagnosed with ovarian cancer over the past 15 years. READ MORE.
- HER2 and HER3 protein study
An international study involving Professor Sherene Loi Peter Mac patients is the first in the world to clinically characterise the therapeutic importance of a diverse set of mutations affecting the HER2 and HER3 proteins. READ MORE.
- Ground breaking Peter Mac research changes diagnosis for rare bone marrow disorder
The Peter Mac PanHaem genetic test, developed by Dr Piers Blombery and his lab, is a gene panel test which can profile all types of blood cancers (including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma) as well as confirm a diagnosis of aplastic anaemia (AA).
- Peter Mac hosts Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Centre
Peter Mac hosted Prof Dingwei Ye, Vice President of Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Centre. Our institutions signed a Sister Agreement in 2016 to forge new Australia-China research collaborations and clinical exchange - particularly in hi-tech robotic surgery.
- Funding boost for research into rare cancers
A team of researchers, led by Peter Mac’s Prof Rod Hicks, was awarded a $1.5 million grant from the US-based Neuroendocrine Tumour Research Foundation (NETRF) to study new treatment approaches for this rare and difficult to treat cancer.
- Marliese Alexander wins Lea Medal
Pharmacist & researcher Marliese Alexander received Peter Mac's 2018 Lea Award. This award promotes our early to mid-career female researchers. Highly-commended was senior research fellow Elaine Sanij.
- Peter Mac researcher Elaine Sanij heads on exchange to Dana Farber in the US
Peter Mac's Elaine Sanij went to the Dana–Farber Cancer Institute in Boston to continue her work on DNA repair therapies for cancer. International partnerships like this both develop the capability of our people and ensure the very latest in cancer research & care is available to Victorians.
- Peter Mac researchers receive 2018 Premier's Awards
researchers, Dr Benjamin Teh and Dr Gabrielle Haeusler, were presented with a 2018 Premier's Award for excellence in health and medical research by then health minister Jill Hennessy.
- Joint Peter Mac study shows melanoma rates falling.
A joint Peter Mac, University of Sydney, Royal North Shore Hospital study found that melanoma rates in under 55s has fallen over the past 20 years in Victoria. Researchers said that incidence rates have plateaued or declined, thanks to sun-smart campaigns that began in the 1980s.
- Breakthrough drug driving a major shift in the treatment of a range of blood cancers, Peter Mac joint trial shows.
Results of two new venetoclax trials – the MURANO Study involving patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL) and AIM Study in Mantle-Cell Lymphoma (MCL) – were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Both trials involved patients whose blood cancer had relapsed or had become resistant to conventional treatment, used venetoclax in combination with another targeted drug, and these treatment combinations resulted in high rates of patients with no detectable cancer.
- Singer Dami Im visits Peter Mac
Dami Im, ambassador for the Sony Foundation, dropped by Peter Mac's youth cancer centre to meet some of our young patients.
- Record funds raised for You Can
The Sony Foundation River4Ward raised a record $770K for You Can youth cancer centres around Australia – including the centre on level one at Peter Mac.
- International Women's Forum tours Peter Mac
The International Women’s Forum took a tour of Peter Mac to see our world class centre in action. The forum is comprised of more than 6,800 diverse and accomplished women from 33 nations dedicated to building better leadership locally and globally.
- Peter Mac hosts COSA position statement on exercise during cancer treatment
Peter Mac's Chief Medical Officer David Speakman endorsed COSA's Position Statement on Exercise in Cancer Care. The statement highlighted the many benefits for patients, and shows how exercise should become standard practice in cancer care.
- Celebrating Peter Mac's long serving volunteers
- New targeted therapy shows remarkable results in Peter Mac trial
The treatment LuPSMA (Lutetium-177 PSMA-617) involves a radioactive molecule that is purpose made to bind to prostate cancer cells, enabling the targeted delivery of radiation to kill these tumours. Professor Michael Hofman, who led the trial at Peter Mac, says the responses were remarkable and supported starting a larger, randomised and multi-site trial of LuPSMA. READ MORE.
- Peter Mac scientists shine light on how organ size is controlled
The research, led by Professor Kieran Harvey and published in the journal Current Biology, for the first time filmed the process which determines how big our organs grow, yielding new insights into the “Hippo pathway”. A better understanding of this long-preserved mechanism – which has changed little through time and is seen across species – may help to develop new therapeutics for the treatment of cancer.
- Peter Mac hosts Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt and Hawthorn Skipper Jarryd Roughead
Minister Hunt and Roughead launched the new NHMRC public awareness campaign about clinical trials.
- Peter Mac marks IDAHOBIT with guest lecture
Peter Mac supported International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia with a lecture from Starlady about the importance of staff training so that gender diverse people receive supportive care in hospital.
- Peter Mac researchers elected fellows of AAS
Peter Mac's Prof Joe Trapani and Prof David Bowtell were elected Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science for their outstanding contribution to science and scientific research.
- Peter Mac researchers identify a potent and previously under appreciated way cancer cells are destroyed, involving Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNF).
The study, led by Dr Jane Oliaro and Professor Ricky Johnstone, highlights the importance of this inflammatory cytokine in destroying cancer cells that may avoid being killed directly by the immune system’s T cells. The discovery opens a potential new pathway for developing drugs to harness the anti-cancer powers of TNF, particularly to boost the effectiveness of other block-buster immunotherapy drugs.
- Peter Mac Volunteer and patient, the late Samuel Symons, wins minister's award.
Sam won a Minister for Health Volunteer Award for his outstanding work advocating for people living with cancer.
- Peter Mac clinical trial shows promising results for previously incurable skin cancers.
Previously incurable skin cancers have responded to the new anti-PD1 therapy drug in almost fifty per cent of patients on a Peter Mac clinical trial. Results of the Cemiplimab drug trial, led by Professor Danny Rischin, have shown 29 out of 59 patients with advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma had their cancers significantly reduced.
- Peter Mac board director receives AM
Peter Mac Director Les Reti was awarded an AM for his significant service to medicine in the field of gynaecology and women’s health as a clinician and educator.
- Footy stars visit Peter Mac ahead of Peter Mac Cup
Collingwood's Brodie Grundy and Carlton's Jack Silvagn visited Peter Mac to chat with some of our young patients and make a round of healthy smoothies ahead of their Peter Mac Cup clash at the MCG. The game was won by Collingwood.
- New art for Peter Mac's youth day ward and inpatient rooms
The walls of Peter Mac’s youth day ward and inpatient rooms have been transformed into a magical, whimsical world by acclaimed Australian artist Ghostpatrol. READ MORE.
- Peter Mac study shows new understanding of how the immune system responds to breast cancer
Peter Mac scientists described in unprecedented detail how the immune system responds to breast cancer, identifying a potential new target for immunotherapy treatments. The study, led by Professor Sherene Loi, involved a genetic analysis of more than 6300 white blood cells found within tumour samples collected from 129 Peter Mac patients with breast cancer.
- Trial shows SABR is feasible, safe for some men with advanced prostate cancer
A Peter Mac clinical trial using a highly advanced, single-dose radiotherapy treatment halted the spread of prostate cancer in some men, delaying the need for conventional lifelong hormone therapy. The POPSTAR trial, led by Associate Professor Shankar Siva, involved patients whose prostate cancer had limited spread (one to three additional sites) and who would typically be put on lifelong hormone therapy.
- Peter Mac researcher wins Image of the Year
A compilation of scans of eight Peter Mac patients, created by Professor Michael Hofman and his research team from Peter Mac, was declared “Image of the Year” by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging in the United States.
- Australian High Commissioner to Malta visits Peter Mac
Australian High Commissioner to Malta Julienne Hince came for a tour of Peter Mac. She met with Prof Danny Rischin, Head of Medical Oncology, who took her on a tour to see our world-leading #cancer research and treatment centre in action.
- Peter Mac researchers scoop our out of five Vic Cancer Agency Grants
Peter Mac’s recipients are Dr Marliese Alexander, Dr Elizabeth Pearson, Dr Gabrielle Haeusler and Dr Lisa Grech. The successful researchers will look into the prevention of cancer-associated blood clots, reducing medication errors, developing guidelines for treating cancer-related fatigue and reducing complications from childhood cancer treatment. READ MORE.
- Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visits Peter Mac
Peter Mac hosted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Health Minister Greg Hunt for the announcement of $5m additional funding for the Zero Childhood Cancer Program under the Australian Brain Cancer Mission and a facility tour. The PM stopped for a selfie with Prof Sherene Loi in the lab.
- Peter Mac hosts Greg Hunt and CanTeen for funding announcement
The minister announced $3.2m for four clinical trials for adolescent and young adult cancer patients, including one at Peter Mac for Ewing Sarcoma led by Dr Jayesh Desai and Dr Susie Bae.
- Victorian Governor visits Peter Mac
The Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria visited Peter Mac and met members of our youth advisory board, senior nurses and also spoke with Sherene Loi in her lab.
- Peter Mac clinical trial shows combination therapy for follicular lymphoma delivers better disease control
The international clinical trial - led by Peter Mac’s Professor Michael MacManus - showed that a combination therapy significantly improves long-term disease control for patients with localised, follicular lymphoma compared to radiotherapy alone.
- Peter Mac signs MoU with VACCHO
Peter Mac signed an MoU with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Inc. It is a commitment to working with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to improve cancer outcomes and experience of care at Peter Mac. We were privileged to partner with VACCHO to advise us in our future work.
- Scientists at Peter Mac and Cardiff University identify important genetic driver of aggressive prostate cancer
The study, led by UK-based Dr Helen Pearson in conjunction with Peter Mac’s Professor Wayne Phillips, found that mice with mutated Pik3cagene went on to develop castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRCP). READ MORE.
- Professor Ricky Johnstone becomes new Executive Director of Cancer Research
In competition against a strong field of international applicants, Ricky’s appointment was a great acknowledgement of his scientific and leadership skills, experience and ambition.
- Fellowships for two Peter Mac researchers
Peter Mac researchers Dr Louise Cheng and Dr Michelle Yong were awarded prominent fellowships from the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council.
- Virtual reality trial for young Peter Mac radiotherapy patients
Young patients are using Virtual Reality goggles to experience what radiotherapy is like before they come to Peter Mac for treatment, as part of a ground-breaking trial funded by the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation. READ MORE.
- Peter Mac signs MoU with ACT Government and ANU
Peter Mac signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the ACT Government and Australian National University (ANU) to expand access to clinical trials and genomics services for ACT cancer patients.
- Funding for Peter Mac trial to test if radiation can boost immunotherapy in merkel cell carcinoma
An Australia and New Zealand Melanoma Trials Group (ANZMTG) clinical trial led by Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre investigators that aims to develop a novel treatment combination for a rare neuroendocrine cancer received $AU1.8m funding from the Medical Research Future Fund.
- Unified computer system linking all Peter Mac campuses installed
A unified computer system which supports delivery of cutting-edge radiotherapy services across Peter Mac’s five Victorian campuses. The new cloud-based radiation therapy treatment planning system provides Peter Mac’s Radiation Oncologists, Radiation Therapists and Medical Physicists across Victoria with advanced tools to provide the very best care to our patients.
- Vietnam Atomic Energy Agency visits Peter Mac
A delegation from the Vietnam Atomic Energy Agency visited Peter Mac to discuss latest in nuclear medicine, a cutting edge field which is delivering better outcomes in hard to treat cancers.
- Peter Mac awarded Premier's Large Health Service of the Year Award
- Peter Mac oncologist elected as Fellow of the AAHMS
Peter Mac medical oncologist Professor Kelly-Anne Phillips who has been elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS).
- Peter Mac launches Extended Recovery Unit Trial
Peter Mac launches an innovative new model of heightened care for patients, who are identified as being at medium risk of post-operative complications. READ MORE.
- Top Cancer Council Fellowship for Prof Mark Dawson
Professor Mark Dawson announced as a recipient of Cancer Council Victoria's Sir Edward Dunlop Research Fellowship. The Fellowship provides $1.55M over five years to support Prof Dawson's pioneering research into epigenetic regulators, unlocking their potential to support new cancer treatments.
- Cookie Executive Chef visits to cook for patients
Executive Chef od Melbourne restaurant Cookie was the celebrity chef for this year's Guest Chef day. Ms Batson Cooked a three course meal for some of our patients who are part of our Parent Matters program.
- Inaugural Girls' Day Out at Peter Mac
Girls' Day Out was held in our Wellbeing Centre - an incredible day inspired by the amazing Emily Somers from Bravery Co who donated 200 stunning headscarves for Peter Mac patients (and taught everyone how to tie them). Patients enjoyed pampering sessions and delicious food.
- Life Sciences Prize for Peter Mac Professor
Peter Mac’s Professor John Seymour and Professor Andrew Roberts, from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, have jointly received the 2018 Victoria Prize for Life Sciences.
- Peter Mac study on understanding how obesity can trigger liver cancer
New research into the link between obesity and liver cancer, led by Peter Mac and Monash University, has indicated patients won't always develop serious liver diseases as a precursor to cancer. The research was led by Professor Tony Tiganis who is Head of the Cancer Metabolism Program at Peter Mac. READ MORE.
- Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation's Unite to Fight - Run, Ride, Walk
$1.3M raised for life-saving cancer research at Peter Mac. The incredible fundraising efforts of our Unite to Fight Cancer family brings Peter Mac cancer researchers one step closer to the next important breakthrough in the search for cancer cures.
- Peter Mac radiologist wins education award
Radiologist Dr Arian Lasocki received the 2018 MSD Hubert Stuerzl Memorial Educational Award. The $15K prize will support Dr Lasocki to attend the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, and ASNR 2019 conference in Boston.
- NHMRC grants for Peter Mac research
Peter Mac recognised the generosity of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation for their $2M research grant which has provided researchers from Peter Mac and our VCCC partners with cutting edge tech which will help them break new ground in cancer research.
- First-in-class perforin inhibitors may help to treat severe acute hepatitis B
An experimental drug developed by Peter Mac’s Professor Joe Trapani could help prevent deaths from one of the world’s most common viral infections, hepatitis B. READ MORE.
- New test to help patients with recurrent rectal cancer avoid major surgery
Peter Mac researchers have found a way to predict which patients with locally advanced rectal cancers might be diverted into a “watch and wait” group, potentially avoiding the need for lower bowel removal surgery and its life-long consequences. The new test, developed by Professors Robert Ramsay (pictured right) and Alexander Heriot (left) at Peter Mac, has made it possible to identify those patients who have a powerful immune response after their chemoradiotherapy and who can safely delay any further surgery. READ MORE.
- Peter Mac's professor tops global citations
Peter Mac’s Prof Sherene Loi was ranked in the top 1% globally by citations in the category of Clinical Medicine for 2018.
Peter Mac researchers present 40 papers at the prestigious American Society of Haematology (ASH) conference
Professors John Seymour, Mark Dawson and Sarah-Jane Dawson, and Dr Piers Blombery, spoke as presenting authors at the ASH annual scientific meeting in San Diego recently. Attendees learned the latest about their discoveries and successful clinical trials at Peter Mac. These presentations were among a total of 40 papers delivered with Haematology staff as contributing authors, including 16 oral presentations. READ MORE.
- World First 3D bio-printer installed at Peter Mac to accelerate cancer research
Peter Mac installed the first model of an Australian-designed 3D bio-printer, which promises to dramatically accelerate research into potential new cancer drugs. READ MORE.
- NHMRC grants to fund broad pipeline of research at Peter Mac
Peter Mac research projects received more than $17.6m in the latest grant round from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). READ MORE.
- Peter Mac delivers more world-class cancer research to the regions
In a Victorian first, Peter Mac is expanding its services to patients at the Albury-Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre and Bendigo Health, with new initiatives combining world-class research and remote delivery of clinical trials. READ MORE.
- Peter Mac to lead an international study of whether type of anaesthetic used in surgery affects outcomes for cancer patients
Peter Mac's Professor Bernhard Riedel will lead an international study that will determine if the type of anaesthetic used in cancer surgery affects patient recovery and survival rates. The VAPOR-C (Volatile Anaesthesia and Perioperative Outcomes Related to Cancer) Trial, will compare two common forms of general anaesthetic used in cancer surgery – inhaled gas (such as sevoflurane) and total intravenous (given via a drip) anaesthesia with propofol, combined with or without intravenous lignocaine (a local anaesthetic agent being used for its anti-inflammatory properties). READ MORE.