Cancer Services - Australia / 04 Feb, 2019

QIMR Berghofer and Icon Group sign MOU aimed at improving cancer care in Queensland

Icon Writers

Queensland’s leading Medical Research Institute, QIMR Berghofer and Icon Group (Icon) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together to provide better outcomes for cancer patients.

Cancer accounts for about three in 10 deaths in Australia, making it the second most common cause of death nationally.

The MOU paves the way for QIMR Berghofer and Icon to collaborate in several areas, including joint projects to find new ways of diagnosing cancer, and sharing information that could be used to genetically sequence cancers.

The Head of QIMR Berghofer’s Cancer Program, Associate Professor Steven Lane, said the formalised agreement announced today on World Cancer Day would provide important opportunities to translate research into clinical practice.

“QIMR Berghofer has one of the largest and most successful cancer programs in Australia, comprising 30 research groups and encompassing 17 types of cancer,” Associate Professor Lane said.

“This is a great opportunity to partner with Icon Group to test the treatments developed in our laboratories, using their state-of-the-art cancer care clinics.

“Icon’s large patient cohort may also provide information that can be used to help QIMR Berghofer researchers find new cancer targets that may lead to new treatment options.”

Icon Group Director of Research, Dr John Bashford, said it was exciting that two world leaders in their fields could announce the collaboration on World Cancer Day.

“As Australia’s largest dedicated cancer care provider, we are always looking for new ways to deliver the best care possible for cancer patients, as close to home as possible,” Dr Bashford said.

“QIMR Berghofer’s Q-Gen Cell Therapeutics facility, based in Brisbane, is a leader in manufacturing adoptive T cell therapies for Phase I and II clinical trials, and it’s important for our patients that we can provide them access to such cutting-edge health developments.”

“This agreement with QIMR Berghofer will help us find new and better ways of treating the thousands of cancer patients who turn to us wanting to be part of clinical trials in Australia.

“It’s an exciting step in bringing together Queensland based researchers, and a leading Queensland founded health care company, to build a relationship that benefits people with cancer in Australia and more widely in the Asia-Pacific region.”

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