Throughout 2013/14, Snowdome was successful in joining several like-minded major donors* to establish the Centre of Research Excellence in Myeloma (CRE-M) in Melbourne. This $3million investment will support a global best practice research approach in ‘personalised or precision medicine’ which, according to reports from the U.S. and Canada, is an emerging approach for the treatment and prevention of various diseases. Many efforts are underway to help make precision medicine the norm rather than the exception.
‘Tonight, I’m launching a new Precision Medicine Initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes – and to give all of us access to the personalised information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier.’ President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address, January 20, 2015.
Precision medicine takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person. Data from existing patients is analysed and stored and then used to identify the right drug or treatment for a newly diagnosed patient. The CRE-M will be the first CRE focused on a specific cancer type and will provide a pioneering model on which further CREs in blood, and other cancers, can be modelled. Learnings from this program will significantly streamline and improve patient outcomes for all blood cancer patients.
“The CRE-M will focus on myeloma, however, if successful, the infrastructure platform could be expandable to other blood cancer subtypes, including leukaemia and lymphoma,” said Dr. Michael Dickinson who conceptualised the project.
For more detailed information on the Snowdome supported CRE-M, please see our 2013/14 Annual Report.
*Combining donations from the Morris Family, Ernest Heine Family Foundation and an anonymous donor, the Snowdome Foundation is supporting the CRE-M in partnership with the VCCC (Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre).
Dr. Michael Dickinson is a Haematologist at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and worked as the epigenetics Snowdome Fellow from 2010 to 2013. He has recently been appointed as the Julie Borschmann Fellow in multiple myeloma at the University of Melbourne and Peter Mac, where he will be continuing his research into blood cancers and epigenetics.