Cancer affects almost every one of us.
But if we can make better diagnoses and treatment decisions, then we can improve the odds for everyone. Even for cancer types with the lowest survival rates.
The difference is genomics.
Genomics crosses all diseases. Here at Garvan, we know that medical research will help find the unique signatures and mutations that lead to better treatments — it's all in our genomic data, our DNA.
An 8% survival rate
Pancreatic cancer has a dismal five-year survival rate of just 8%. This hasn't changed much in over 40 years.
Through the power of genomics, we've discovered that pancreatic tumours vary greatly, with thousands of different genetic variants.
Garvan researchers have classified at least four subtypes based on these variants. This helps us choose existing drugs that can guide treatment. This is personalised medicine, and has the potential to improve results in patients.
1 in 2 breast cancer patients
The risk of developing breast cancer increases after each pregnancy. One out of two diagnosed with pregnancy-associated breast cancer will die.
Using cellular genomics we can simultaneously study the mutated cancer cells and the healthy cells around them. This gives a clearer picture of how breast cancer develops.
It also shows how immunotherapy can offer specific treatments for individuals with pregnancy-associated breast cancer.
186 types of rare cancer
There are 186 types of rare or less common cancers, which claim the lives 25,000 people in Australia every year.
Garvan's Molecular Screening and Therapeutics clinical trial (or 'MoST'), is offering real hope by matching treatments to patients based on their genetic information. We use genome sequencing to see if a cancer’s genomic profile match existing drugs.
MoST is more direct than standard clinical trials because patients don’t have time to wait – they need treatment options. Hosam was diagnosed with brain cancer at 25 — read how MoST found a treatment for his specific rare cancer.