Partnering to make research a priority

Snowdome Foundation and Epworth are partnering to change the way cancer is treated.

You may have seen the Channel 9 News segment featuring Nat Deague.  Nat discussed the importance of blood cancer research and her desire to raise funds for Snowdome.  The Deague family very generously raised $1.2 million for circulating tumour DNA research at the Epworth. This is one example of the great partnership we are building.

Thanks to our partnership with the Snowdome Foundation, Epworth doctors are not only changing the way blood cancer is treated, they are also offering hope to patients who otherwise would have none.

Lymphoma, leukaemia and myeloma are the third leading cause of death in Australia.  Through our unique partnership, we are making a real difference for the 12,000 Australians who are diagnosed with blood cancer every year.

Blood cancers cannot be prevented or detected through routine screening which makes finding a cure critical.

The Snowdome/Epworth partnership is allowing our doctors to focus on the potential of using Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) to determine treatment options for patients diagnosed with blood cancer.

ctDNA is derived from an individual’s malignancy, or cancer, and it is detectable in the plasma compartment of a patient’s blood.  It can be detected by high resolution genomic analysis and importantly, the detection and analysis of ctDNA has multiple significant clinical implications for the treatment of cancer patients.

For patients with blood cancers specifically, ctDNA offers an attractive assessment option as the very nature of haematology based cancers means that there is a mutational landscape of these diseases which is easily detectable in the patients’ blood and in turn readily available for further scientific assessment.

The ability to monitor a patient’s response to treatment by using ctDNA analysis can be potentially used to guide the aggressiveness of a patient’s therapy. For example, this can help to determine if more chemotherapy is required at the end of initial standard treatment, when to discontinue maintenance therapy, when to switch therapy due to an inadequate initial response and detecting potential for imminent relapse.

Through this partnership, Epworth doctors have been able to commence a number of clinical trials using ctDNA for patients diagnosed with blood cancer. Together, we are making research breakthroughs and the implications have the potential to offer patients hope on a global scale.

Snowdome’s mission is to accelerate next-generation treatments for Australian blood cancer patients to help them live a longer better life.  Snowdome is ‘making hope real’ in the fight against blood cancers.

Formed in 2010 by three passionate individuals, Snowdome’s focus is on providing greater access for Australians with blood cancer to clinical trials and personalised treatment.  Snowdome focuses on ‘unlocking’ new treatments by channelling philanthropic donations into early phase human clinical trials of next-generation treatments.

Epworth HealthCare is one of the largest hospitals in Victoria caring for cancer patients. As part of this service, we have a team of clinicians who share Snowdome’s commitment to find answers for patients with blood cancers.

Our partnership with Snowdome has allowed our doctors to undertake world leading research into blood cancers, which even in its relative infancy, is leading to better patient outcomes. We are immensely proud to be working together with the Snowdome Foundation to make a true and lasting change for patients now and into the future.