Next Generation Precision Medicine Program
There is an urgent need for new and more precisely targeted medicines to treat childhood cancers. Currently, genomic sequencing is used to identify discrete mutations that could predict a child’s responses to targeted therapies. However, fewer than one in five children with cancer are found to have actionable mutations. And of those children, only half respond to the therapies that are available.
New treatment options are needed, particularly for paediatric cancers that have the poorest survival rates such as brain and soft tissue tumours.
The Next Generation Precision Medicine Program is a flagship program of the Victorian Paediatric Cancer Consortium (VPCC) led by Hudson Institute’s Professor Ron Firestein, a clinician-scientist and the Head of the Centre for Cancer Research at Hudson Institute. The Program is focused on
- Generating novel models of childhood cancers that faithfully represent a patient’s tumour
- Characterising those models at a multi-omics level (genome, transcriptome, epigenome, proteome) to find what makes them unique
- Using comprehensive functional genomic screens that can identify the genetic drivers and dependencies of low-survival paediatric cancers
- Developing a childhood cell line atlas and data portal to enable cohort-level integrative genomic analyses.
Childhood Cancer Model Atlas (CCMA)
The Childhood Cancer Model Atlas (CCMA) was created through this program. As the largest collection of high-risk paediatric solid tumour cell lines in the world, the CCMA is one of the most valuable resources available for childhood cancer researchers globally. It provides a collection of well annotated and characterised models of childhood cancer with associated functional genomics screens and includes a searchable data portal that can be accessed by scientists worldwide. This open-source approach, couple with precise, detailed data, helps scientists anywhere collaborate and drive clinical translation to help sick children.
Prof David Eisenstat – The Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
A/Prof Peter Downie – Monash Children’s Hospital
A/Prof Sefi Rosenbluh – Monash University
A/Prof Paul Ekert – Children’s Cancer Institute
Prof Roger Daly – Monash University
Dr Pouya Faridi – Monash University
A/Prof Paul Neeson – Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre