Flinders is world renowned for its cancer research. We are recognised for our work in cancer survivorship, focusing on patients living with cancer, living after cancer, and living well. Similarly, the new Wellness Centre in the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer will provide an impetus to develop novel strategies that help our patients cope with their cancer journey.
By studying how the body reacts and responds to cancer treatments at a molecular level, we have made pivotal clinical discoveries that help prevent unnecessary chemotherapy, through personalised medicine. These findings spare both our patients and the health budget.
As we operate within an integrated cancer centre, our generous patients provide the resource for fundamental discovery. The establishment of several Biobanks, including the Flinders Biobank and the SA Neurological Tumour Bank, provides an extensive library of tumour, and matched normal, tissue for analysis. Flinders has been at the forefront of cancer prevention and early screening, with a significant role in the implementation of the National Bowel Cancer Screening program and the development of newer screening technologies, including the 2017 Eureka prize winning Colvera blood test. This continues with further nucleic acid tests being developed for a variety of cancers from brain, head and neck, the gastrointestinal tract and prostate. Historically, we have been world leaders in the detection of residual disease for blood cancers and this legacy continues with exciting research in leukaemia and multiple myeloma.
We seek to optimise the use of chemotherapy by developing real-time monitoring of drug responses, again personalising the treatment of our patients. To develop novel drugs, several Flinders groups study how cancers develop and sustain themselves, with a view to identifying Achilles Heels that can be exploited to kill tumours, or to prevent other hormone treatments from promoting cancer in the first place.