WORLD-leading cancer research will soon begin in Brisbane thanks to a two million dollar donation from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF).
The donation allowed the existing Herston Imaging Research Facility (HIRF) to secure vital equipment for the new Molecular Oncology Translational Imaging Facility (MOTIF) unveiled at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs Grace Grace said the new imaging facility expanded upon the already-impressive capabilities at HIRF.
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“A $2 million donation from the ACRF secured the purchase of a positron-emission tomography computed-tomography (PET-CT) machine to be used at MOTIF,” Ms Grace said.
“With this PET-CT, researchers will be able to develop new ways to diagnose and treat a variety of cancers with limited or no effective treatment options.
“And although this machine is primarily for cancer research, other types of research will be possible because of the support of the ACRF, such as studies into Alzheimer’s and dementia.
“This new scanner is dedicated solely to research, not only for the hospital, but for the HIRF partners – QIMR Berghofer, University of Queensland, and QUT.”
Health Minister Cameron Dick said HIRF has become a go-to destination for clinical investigations and secured its place as a leader in cancer research worldwide.
“By co-locating HIRF with RBWH, you’re bridging the gap between research and patient care in a way that other places cannot,” Mr Dick said.
“The RBWH medical imaging department has PET-CT machines, but they’re constantly being used for patient care – as they should be.
“Thanks to this combination of state-of-the-art equipment and world-class expertise, the breakthroughs to be made here at HIRF will have a tremendous impact on the health of not only our community here in Brisbane, but across Australia and around the world.”
Executive Director of RBWH Dr Amanda Dines said HIRF couldn’t ask for a better home than alongside Queensland’s largest hospital.
“This location combined with the state-of-the-art imaging resources allows clinical research to directly impact the accuracy of a patient’s diagnosis and the effectiveness of their treatment,” Dr Dines said.
“HIRF drives meaningful reform in healthcare delivery and places Queensland at the global frontier of human imaging research, clinical trials and patient care.”
Dr Dines said there were 15 exciting new research projects about to launch at the facility, with researcher Dr Nicholas Weber at the helm of one of the very first.
“This week Dr Weber will commence the first patient trial that has the potential to revolutionise myeloma (cancer of plasma cells in bone marrow) detection, diagnosis and treatment.”
“The hope is the new method will prove to be a more accurate technique in the detection of cancer, with the potential to more accurately detect relapse, or identify the need for different types of therapy to give patients the best chance of survival.
Dr Weber said it was an exciting time to be working in this field.
“The combined PET-CT gives us an advantage. Patients don’t have to go through two separate scans, so it is much more convenient for them,” Dr Weber said.