5000 Australians with toughest cancers referred to PrOSPeCT for free comprehensive genomic profiling

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

The nation’s largest cancer genomics initiative PrOSPeCT (Precision Oncology Screening Platform Enabling Clinical Trials) has reached a major milestone this month with over 5,000 Australians, diagnosed with hard-to-treat cancers with very limited treatment options, receiving referrals for free comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) of their cancer.

Data collected from these 5,000 referrals has found three out of four (75%) of this difficult-to-treat cancer community have an actionable genetic biomarker identified within their cancer, providing information and potential for matching to advanced, potentially life-extending, personalised treatments that would otherwise remain unexplored.

Over 750 clinicians from around Australia are now actively referring patients to PrOSPeCT and embracing the important role genomic profiling and precision oncology provides for those with particularly challenging cancer diagnoses.

The data collected to date also shows the program has no geographical borders, no age barriers and an ability to take on all types of challenging cancer diagnoses. The data shows:-

  • A true national reach with referrals coming from all parts of Australia and with more than a third (38%) from rural and regional areas.
  • A very wide age range of patients are being referred (16-91 years), with an average age of 58.
  • The initiative also shows a broad representation of cancer types for profiling with referrals for breast, lung, colorectal, prostate, melanoma, rare and less common cancers.
  • The multi-step process for comprehensive genomic profiling, from patient consent to assessment of results by Omico’s Molecular Oncology Board and provision of a comprehensive report with treatment recommendations to the referring oncologist, is between 5-8 weeks.

Led by not-for-profit cancer genomics pioneer Omico, the landmark program PrOSPeCT was established last year to provide 23,000 Australians nationwide with advanced or incurable cancers, or earlier diagnoses of cancers with poor prognoses, comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) of their cancer at no cost.

“We are very proud of achieving this milestone, and applaud the oncology community for embracing PrOSPeCT, and ensuring Australians facing a challenging cancer diagnosis gain access to genomic information that may significantly improve their life expectancy,” says Professor David Thomas, Chief Science and Strategy Officer at Omico, and Director, Centre of Molecular Oncology, UNSW.

PrOSPeCT is being powered by public and private partnerships with funds totalling $185M, including grant funding of $61.2M from the Australian Federal Government (as part of the Modern Manufacturing Initiative), $25M from the NSW Government, and a commercial collaboration between Omico, the National Computational Infrastructure at Australian National University, Children’s Cancer Institute and Roche Australia.

“Central to the initiative is linking to precision oncology trials in Australia and expanding access for a high needs community to new targeted therapies provided by the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. To date, over 50 clinical trials have been supported by PrOSPeCT which is an incredible outcome, and we want to continue this,” states Ian Black, CEO Omico.

A retrospective analysis of data from a previous Omico precision oncology program known as MoST (Molecular Screening and Therapeutics Study) found more than a third of patients (37.5%) carried biomarkers in their cancer with good clinical evidence for therapeutic benefit. In the first 3,383 patients enrolled onto MoST, patients who accessed matched therapies based on these biomarkers had a median survival time that was double that of patients receiving unmatched therapy.

PrOSPeCT has formed a powerful collaborative national network harnessing combined expertise and resources of cancer research centres and diagnostic and treatment services around the country. The initiative is driving skilled jobs, economic growth, local capacity and capabilities – achieving to date:-

  • 164 direct highly skilled jobs in the medical and science sectors
  • An estimated 820 indirect jobs, across health, administration, pathology and pharmacy
  • An estimated $138M in foreign investment into local oncology clinical trials
  • The national clinical trial network has grown to 49 sites across metro and regional/rural areas
  • 40 traineeships in clinical trial research have been taken up by research delivery partner Praxis
  • PrOSPeCT is currently directly supporting 53 (and growing), company-sponsored precision oncology trials. Ten (10) of these would not have opened in Australia but for PrOSPeCT
  • Five pathology providers operating locally are now NATA-accredited to deliver profiling services

Source: Omico


About Author

The ONA Editor curates oncology news, views and reviews from Australia and around the world for our readers. In aggregated content, original sources will be acknowledged in the article footer.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.