MPCCC Precision Oncology Program  2020-03-31T17:58:00+00:00

MPCCC Precision Oncology Program

About the program

The primary aim of the MPCCC Precision Oncology Program (POP) is to enable equitable access to comprehensive genome profiling (CGP) of tumour DNA for cancer patients being treated in Monash Partners affiliate hospitals located South to South East of Victoria. CGP of archival tumour material (for example, biopsy material already used for histological evaluation) enables scientists and molecular pathologists to match therapies to specific tumour mutations and to develop a comprehensive treatment and management plan for an individual patient, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. This is known as precision oncology. Depending on the results of tumour profiling, targeted drug therapies or immunotherapy may be warranted, or the patient might be eligible for referral to a relevant clinical trial of a new drug or drug combination. This application of personalised medicine (precision oncology) can also mean avoidance of ineffective treatments and associated side-effects and extend progression-free survival times for the patient.

The MPCCC POP is laying the groundwork in the application of Precision Oncology for patients in the MPCCC catchment area, that is South to SE of Melbourne.  It is building workforce capability and demonstrating that Monash has the technology, infrastructure and expertise to implement precision oncology in this region and will be ready to go once comprehensive tumour profiling becomes Standard of Care.

How is this different to what is done currently?

Comprehensive Genome Profiling (CGP) of tumour tissue enables the identification of a large number of variants in hundreds of genes that may be involved in driving the cancer. Current ‘Standard of Care’ tests profile a limited number of genes and often not all parts of the genes are profiled. Further, current technologies used for tumour profiling are often less sensitive than those used in Precision Oncology. This means that current testing may not uncover the entire range of potentially actionable (druggable) variants in an individual’s tumour. For many reasons, comprehensive genome profiling technology is not readily available to all patients and is largely still being conducted in the translational research space. However, CGP will ultimately become Standard of Care in the future. For now, patients may access CGP of their tumour by being part of a research study.

Our approach

precision oncology program diagram

Find out more

View the links below to read more about the MPCCC Program, or contact our Program Manager Ms Vikki Marshall on vikki.marshall@monash.edu. For details of the Project Team and Steering Committee, see here.