Footscray patients in cancer test breakthrough
Two Western Health oncologists – and hundreds of Footscray Hospital patients – have contributed to a global breakthrough in cancer research.
Prof Peter Gibbs and A/Prof Jeanne Tie are part of an international team that has developed a blood test for eight common cancers, which could revolutionise the early detection and treatment of these diseases – and potentially save countless lives.
The breakthrough received worldwide coverage last month.
Prof Gibbs and A/Prof Tie, also from Melbourne's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, were part of a research team led by US researchers from Johns Hopkins University.
Clinical trials for the new blood test, which screens for ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic, oesophageal, colorectal, lung and breast cancers, included more than 400 cancer patients from Footscray Hospital.
Prof Gibbs told The Age newspaper the test could be widely used for annual screening of older Australians: "It's also a test you would do in young people if they had a strong family history, or any other risk factor for cancer."
Dr Dishan Herath, Director of Cancer Services, praised Prof Gibbs and A/Prof Tie and thanked the Western Health patients who contributed to the research: "Blood testing for early detection of cancer is one of the most exciting things happening in cancer research worldwide.
We are very fortunate to have two world leaders in the field on our team and are proud of our strong links to the Walter and Eliza Hall Research Institute."
Dr Herath's predecessor as cancer services director, Prof Michael Green, said A/Prof Tie and Prof Gibbs had "developed an extensive collaboration with Western Health surgeons and radiation oncologists as well as having the strong support of medical oncology colleagues".