World class specialists, first class hospitals, skilled health workers, a dynamic clinical trials culture and internationally regarded scientists researching and analysing diseases. On any measure we have the best of the best.
However, while high standard care can help a patient re-cover, only research will deliver that patient a new drug or new treatment, or prevent their illness in the first place.
Fortunately WA not only has an overarching health system providing access to all and standards of care which are high but we also have a research culture that is directed toward delivering outcomes for patients, not just focused on science for science sake.
A new area at the cutting edge of patient centred research is genomics, the science that uses the latest gene technologies to completely unpack cancer.
Genomics has the capacity to identify new drugs to combat cancer, to better predict a tumour’s response to drugs and to develop innovative ways to kill cancer cells.
The latest technologies can analyse thousands of cells from hundreds of tumours and examine billions of genetic sequences to determine the genetic make-up of each tumour and provide new insights into how cancer cells evolve, interact with normal cells and importantly identify new targets that can be used for treatment.
In time, single cell analysis of cancer tumours will revolutionise cancer diagnosis and treatment. It will bring a new level of precision never before thought possible to how we approach cancer.
The low survival rates for some cancers, such as mesothelioma, ovarian and pancreatic cancers highlight the need for these new approaches to better understand and target cancer.
To this end, a consortium of cancer researchers and medical experts in WA aim to build a comprehensive atlas of the cell types that make up a range of cancers and ensure these key discoveries about what makes the cancer “tick” evolve into improved patient care and better health outcomes.
We have a once in a decade opportunity to bring the new technology into WA, to work collaboratively together and remain at the leading edge.
A number of research institutes, universities and government entities are currently working together to establish a leading genomics centre in WA.
The new genomics centre will be housed at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and the Telethon Kids Institute and the beneficiaries will be the WA community.
I look forward to the major genomic discoveries that will shape the medicine of tomorrow.