PM officially opens The Kinghorn Cancer Centre

Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaking at the opening of The Kinghorn Cancer Centre.

Prof Rob Sutherland

On Tuesday, 28 August, Prime Minister Julia Gillard officially opened The Kinghorn Cancer Centre on the St Vincent’s Campus. As you know, the Centre is a joint venture between the Garvan Institute of Medical Research External Link and St Vincent’s Hospital External Link and will bring together cutting-edge research at the Garvan and the clinical expertise at St Vincent’s.

At the centre, cancer specialists and researchers work together to find personalised solutions to each person’s cancer, by fundamentally understanding each individual’s needs at the molecular level. Research knowledge – principally based on individual ‘biomarkers’ – will enable doctors to sub-stratify patients in a more effective way, with the potential to identify targeted therapeutics to match their individual genetic profile to better determine how each individual’s cancer will progress and specify which treatments will work most effectively.

The PM toured the new facility, taking the time to speak with researchers and checked out the state-of-the-art multi-head microscope with Dr Alex Swarbrick (pictured second from left). Speaking of the St Vincents Campus External Link which now also houses The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Prime Minister Gillard noted “Per square metre, perhaps the greatest concentration of medical care and research excellence in the nation.” You can read the PM’s complete speech here. External Link

Professor Rob Sutherland, Director of The Kinghorn Cancer Centre (pictured above left) said, “The Kinghorn Cancer Centre’s approach to personalised medicine places the patient at the centre of all decisions, maximising the rapid translation of research findings to new approaches to cancer diagnosis, treatment and prevention. This will spare individuals from side-effects of treatment from which they won’t actually benefit, and more expeditiously get them the therapies that will be specifically effective for them and in the process save the health system money.”

From a clinical perspective, Professor Allan Spigelman (pictured above, third from left), Director of Cancer Services said, “The Kinghorn Cancer Centre will focus on providing a holistic approach to cancer care throughout the entire patient journey, from diagnosis to full recovery (where cure is possible) and will incorporate world-class educational and training programs to develop researchers and clinicians to optimise translational outcomes. Key patient services including multidisciplinary clinics, outpatient chemotherapy services and the Wellness Centre – which will provide complementary therapies such as acupuncture as part of the cancer treatment.”

His Eminence Cardinal George Pell was also in attendance and blessed the building with holy water. Mr Peter Overton generously donated his time to MC the event and Patron of the Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Ms Delta Goodrem (pictured above far right), who is an ex-St. Vincent’s patient herself, performed two of her songs.

The $128 million Centre has been funded through a $70 million Federal Government grant from the Health and Hospital Fund as well as major philanthropic support. The Centre incorporates several sophisticated technological and design-firsts that will transform both care delivery as well as the research undertaken.

A big thank you for all your interest and support of this initiative. What began as an idea has now transformed into a world-leading, cutting edge research and clinical facility.