Learn how Luminesce Alliance supported programs like KAT provide answers for children with rare diseases

With programs like Sydney Children’s Hospital Network’s (SCHN) Kids Advanced Therapeutics (KAT) program, we now have the potential to treat and improve the quality of life of children with rare diseases, who previously had no options.

We invite you to view the introductory webinar to discover how clinicians and researchers are preparing for a new wave of therapies that will revolutionise the future of paediatric health care. Read more

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Genomic researchers to benefit from new data sharing platform

At the recent ZERO Symposium, supported by Luminesce Alliance, the Zero Childhood Cancer Program (ZERO) announced the adoption of the Beacon protocol to launch a new portal that enables the sharing of large genomic data sets across the research community, to strengthen analysis of childhood cancers. The Beacon platform does not require specialised skills to extract the data and is built to the GA4GH standard for sharing genomic and health data. ZERO is encouraging collaborators to host similar Beacons so that all childhood cancer data can be cross-shared through a single interface. Read more 

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Latest study delves into surgeon’s perspectives on precision medicine

A study published in the latest issue of Cancer Medicine conducted interviews with surgeons involved in the Luminesce Alliance supported PRISM national precision medicine trial for poor prognosis paediatric cancer patients. The study examines the perspectives of surgeons, delving into their attitudes, experiences, confidence and knowledge of genetic concepts. Read more

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Call for Expressions of Interest – psychosocial and equity focused research support

Luminesce Alliance is seeking Expressions of Interest from eligible paediatric precision medicine researchers and clinicians interested in accessing our Psychosocial Enabling Platform. The platform provides difficult to access guidance and resources including consultation with a consumer engagement expert and specifically appointed consumer group, specialist clinical psychology advice, expertise to guide the inclusion of priority populations including CALD and Aboriginal communities, and specialist statistical advice. Read more

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Celebrating 250 Years of Clinical Trials

Luminesce Alliance is celebrating International Clinical Trials Day and the 250th anniversary of the first clinical trial by honoring trial leaders, support teams, and participants.

We thank our clinical trials teams across our partner organisations for their essential role in advancing our health system. We also sincerely thank the community members who participate in clinical trials. Without their contributions, many discoveries and treatments would not be possible.

International Clinical Trials Day marks May 20, 1774, when James Lind, a ship’s surgeon, conducted a trial on the effects of citrus fruits on scurvy in sailors. Lind’s work provided evidence linking citrus fruits to scurvy prevention. Earlier trials include a 1537 experiment by French surgeon Ambroise Paré, who used a mixture of egg yolks, oil of roses, and turpentine to treat wounds, resulting in less pain and inflammation compared to standard treatments. Clinical trials have evolved significantly since then and are now crucial in modern medicine.

How does Luminesce Alliance support clinical trials? We provide funding, collaboration support, and professional training opportunities, including webinars and workshops, to enhance workforce capacity and foster connections among alliance partners.

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National Strategy for Health and Medical Research

In the lead up to the hand down of the Federal Budget on 14 May 2024, the Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care has announced the National Strategy for Health and Medical Research.

Luminesce Alliance welcomes the announcement and the inclusion of two new 10-Year Medical Research Future Funds (MRFF) focused on reducing reduce health inequities and low survival cancers, that Luminesce Alliance has also identified as key areas of focus in our Enabling Platforms Program.

The announcement states that the strategy will ensure that patients get easier and earlier access to potentially lifesaving clinical trials, Australia gets better value from the $1.5 billion in research grants awarded each year, and health priorities get more funding including reducing health system inequality, and cancers with low survival rates.

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) deliver $1.5 billion in grants each year.

The need for a National Strategy has been one of the consistent messages the Government has heard from the health and medical research sector. The Government consulted the sector throughout 2023 on ideas to better align the work of the NHMRC and MRFF.

The National Strategy will cover the entire sector and include all levels of government, industry, philanthropy, academia and consumers.

Minister Butler has made this commitment in the context of the “Health Research for a Future Made in Australia” package which has a total investment of $1.89 billion, and includes:

  • A new 10-Year Low Survival Cancers MRFF Mission;
  • A new 10-Year Reducing Health Inequities MRFF Mission; and
  • $18.8m to progress the National One Stop Shop for clinical trials and health research.

For more details see:

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Expressions of Interest invited to become part of the THINK Advanced Therapeutics Pipeline Program

Researchers and clinician researchers are invited to submit Expressions of Interest to access the resources of the THINK Advanced Therapeutics Pipeline Program and discover how to identify exciting novel biology that can be translated into new therapeutics for childhood illnesses.

Led by A/Prof Greg Arndt, Head of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) Drug Discovery Centre at Children’s Cancer Institute, THINK is part of the Enabling Platforms Program funded by Luminesce Alliance.

The Luminesce Alliance paediatric precision medicine Enabling Platforms are functional specialisations that cross disease areas and Luminesce Alliance member organisations.

The platforms provide support for leading clinicians and researchers to better understand and apply precision medicine.

One of five platforms, the Precision Therapy Enabling Platform is designed to provide a pipeline that bridges the gap between scientific discovery and the development of new drugs for patients.

This Platform has two streams, one of which is the THerapeutic INnovations for Kids (THINK) program, which focuses on discovering and developing novel therapeutics for childhood cancers, genetic diseases, and neurodevelopmental disorders.

THINK was formed within Children’s Cancer Institute to accelerate the development and delivery of new treatments for children with cancer. This program is a disease-agnostic integrated pipeline of technologies, capabilities, and expertise that spans all stages of the drug discovery and development pathway.

The overarching aim of the THINK program within the Luminesce Alliance Advanced Therapeutics Pipeline is to extend the THINK project portfolio to include not only cancer, but also new projects in rare genetic diseases and neurodevelopmental disorders.

To find out more, including how to register, click here.

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