Australian Cancer Research Foundation awards $5million cancer research grant for The Kinghorn Cancer Centre and honours Lady (Sonia) McMahon

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) has today awarded its equal largest ever research grant of $5 million towards the construction of The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, a joint facility of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney.

The Centre, one of Australia’s finest research centres, will provide national leadership in translational research and facilitate the development of personalised cancer treatment.

The ACRF grant honours the late Lady (Sonia) McMahon, life member and one of two joint founders of the Foundation (the other being the late Sir Peter Abeles). Lady McMahon passed away earlier this year at St Vincent’s Hospital after a long battle with cancer.

In announcing the grant, ACRF Chairman Tom Dery, paid tribute to the outstanding contribution of Lady McMahon.

“The Australian Cancer Research Foundation would simply not exist without Lady McMahon, so it is indeed fitting that her tireless efforts and her passionate commitment to supporting our vision of a cancer-free world are honoured today” said Mr Dery.

“We are delighted that this grant will help establish a comprehensive cancer centre, closely linking leading-edge cancer research with patient care. Brilliant researchers, like those at the Garvan, can achieve things tomorrow that they can only dream of today to eradicate cancer and its effects on people.”

ACRF has previously supported the Garvan with a $1.1 million grant to establish the world- class ACRF Unit for Molecular Genetics of Cancer. The grant enabled the purchase of major research equipment including the Mass Array Sequenom analyser, which can test up to 768 DNA samples at once, effectively enabling eight months of cancer research to be completed in one day.

This additional $5million grant will ensure the upgrade of this facility which will be relocated to The Kinghorn Cancer Centre when it opens in mid-2012.

Professor John Shine, Executive Director of the Garvan Institute, said the ACRF grant would facilitate major new research discoveries in the fight against cancer.

“This critical grant, together with other major government and private donations, will make it possible for us to both construct the new Centre and ensure that it is properly equipped with the state-of-the-art technologies needed to deliver on the promises of personalised medicine which means providing the right treatment for individual patients based on the specific characteristics of their tumours,” he added.

Housing approximately 300 researchers and clinicians working side by side, The Kinghorn Cancer Centre will have a major focus on translational research (applying basic laboratory research findings in patient settings) and close collaboration between leading researchers and their treating clinical colleagues. This environment will facilitate discovery of ways to diagnose cancer earlier; better predict individual patient outcome and response to therapy; and development of new therapeutics.


About Garvan

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research was founded in 1963. Initially a research department of St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, it is now one of Australia’s largest medical research institutions with over 500 scientists, students and support staff. Garvan’s main research programs are: Cancer, Diabetes & Obesity, Immunology and Inflammation and Neuroscience. Garvan’s mission is to make significant contributions to medical science that will change the directions of science and medicine and have major impacts on human health. The outcome of Garvan’s discoveries is the development of better methods of diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately, prevention of disease.

Australian Cancer Research Foundation

One in three Australians will be told they have cancer. And the Australian Cancer Research Foundation is determined to help find the cures. ACRF supports high-level research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all cancers by funding vital infrastructure. Since 1984, thanks to the generosity of the community, ACRF has awarded almost $65 million to respected Australian institutes; almost $43 million of that in the past five years.

For more information contact:

Tom Dery – Chairman of ACRF – (02) 9270 2752 or David Brettell – Chief Executive of ACRF – 0414 521 879.