Lions Clubs donate over $900,000 to childhood cancer research.
Every year in Australia, almost 800 kids are diagnosed with cancer, many of which are aggressive, hard to treat and with a high risk of mortality. Although the survival rates have improved greatly for some cancers, others still take a heavy toll on our young people’s lives.
The Lions Kids Cancer Genome Project is a collaborative partnership which brings together state-of-the-art capability in whole genome sequencing and analysis at Garvan and Australia’s national personalised medicine program in childhood cancer – the Zero Childhood Cancer Program, led by the Children’s Cancer Institute and the Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.
The Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation and Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) recently had the pleasure of presenting The Garvan Institute of Medical Research with a cheque for $903,953 which will help continue funding to enable Garvan to work with the Zero Childhood Cancer national child cancer personalised medicine program to undertake the sequencing and analysis of the genomes of 400 Aussie kids with cancer.
Lions are also supporting Garvan to create a genome database through ‘Genome Power 2.0’. The database, which will be accessible to researchers and doctors worldwide, could help kids everywhere have a better chance of a healthy life.
Whole genome sequencing examines the genome – the entire complement of genetic information contained within the DNA in our cells, including more than 20,000 genes.
In the Lions Kids Cancer Genome Project, whole genome sequencing will be carried out on tumour DNA (to identify the genetic changes associated with a given cancer) as well as on DNA from normal tissue (to help identify genetic sequences that might predispose to cancer).
By studying an individual’s genome, it is possible to develop personalised treatment programs that integrate this genetic information with other biological and clinical data.
Genome sequencing and analysis for the Project will be carried out at Garvan’s Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, which is the largest genome sequencing facility in the southern hemisphere.
See the latest report from Dr Joe Collins and Dr Marie Dziadek.