ACRF Blood Cancer Therapeutics Centre

Monash University in partnership with Alfred Health received $1.2 million from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) to establish Australia's first dedicated blood cancer research centre.

Blood cancer is the third leading causes of cancer death in Australia, affecting more people than breast or skin cancer (1). Each year 13,000 Australians are diagnosed with a blood cancer, with approximately 60,000 living with the disease. The most lethal forms include acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), multiple myeloma (MM), non-Hodgkin lymphoma, myelodysplastic syndromes, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). Unfortunately the number of deaths from AML and MM have increased over the last 40 years (1).

Driven by Chief Investigators Prof. Andrew Wei and Prof. Andrew Spencer, the ACRF Blood Cancer Therapeutics Centre aims to create a high throughput
drug screening facility for a range of blood cancers, including leukaemia and multiple myeloma. Generous funding from the
ACRF has enabled the purchase of cutting edge equipment to enable researchers discover more effective and improved therapies for patients.

The ACRF Blood Cancer Therapeutics Centre aims to:

  • Screen novel drug combinations targeting blood cancers and translating promising findings into proof-of-concept clinical trails
  • Investigate why some patients relapse or develop drug resistance using cutting edge technology, including next-generation sequencing and single cell technology.

The Centre has acquired several cutting edge equipment enabled by the generous support of ACRF, Alfred Health and Monash University.

  • Illumina® Next-Generation Sequencing platforms
  • Single cell isolation for assessing cancer cell heterogeneity
  • High throughput multiplex screening of cell suspensions
  • Affymetrix™ GeneChip™ scanner for gene expression and genetic analysis

Chief Investigators:
Prof. Andrew Wei
Prof. Andrew Spencer
Prof. David Curtis
Prof. Stephen Jane

Collaborations and Industry:
Monash Bioinformatics Platform
Human Molecular Pathology, The Alfred
Illumina® sequencing and array technologies

For further information on the facility contact:
Bonnie Dopheide
Senior Laboratory Operations Officer
P:   +61 3 9903 0651

(1) Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
(2) Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016
(3) Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014. Cancer in Australia: an overview 2014. Cancer series No 90. Cat. no. CAN 88. Canberra: AIHW.