Garvan Breakthrough magazine - Aug 2018

“How far off is a genomic test for prostate cancer and how will it change my treatment options?” Recently, a Breakthrough reader asked us: ASK GARVAN

Click here to make a donation to Garvan’s medical research.

My contact details Title

First name



This answer comes from Professor Vanessa Hayes, Head of Garvan’s Human Comparative and Prostate Cancer Genomics Laboratory.





A diagnosis of prostate cancer can be very distressing for men and their families. The good news is that the chance of surviving for five years is 95%. Garvan is leading the charge to completely overhaul testing for prostate cancer. We are developing the next generation of DNA‑based testing, which will provide accurate diagnosis and have an enormous impact on treatment plans for men in Australia. The current early testing method (prostate-specific antigen) commonly leads to the diagnosis of some cancers that might never have caused symptoms. This can have overall detrimental effects on life span and quality of life through unnecessary treatment. One of the biggest clinical challenges is distinguishing which cancers are going to spread and become life- threatening, and which patients could be spared harsh treatment they might not need. To have any hope of targeting treatment in this way, we first need to understand the genetic drivers of each individual tumour. From previous studies, we know that prostate cancer has only small genetic changes and is more likely driven by large complex rearrangements of DNA. This is different to most cancers, which are driven by small DNA mutations in a number of key genes. Previously, we had no way of observing these DNA rearrangements or structural variants in prostate cancer. Last year, we completed a world first in comprehensive next‑generation mapping of an entire prostate cancer genome and this uncovered 10 times more large-scale DNA rearrangements than have previously been detected in prostate cancer. We know that next-generation DNA-based research can provide insights into prostate cancer and enable accurate diagnosis and treatments specific to the individual. We are working toward this goal of making a genomic test the ‘norm’ for those affected by this cancer, and when it is available it will drive world-best treatments.


Garvan supporter number (if known)

Please send me further information about   Giving to Garvan in my Will (strictly confidential)   Giving regularly to Garvan through my bank account Please change my communications   I no longer wish to receive Breakthrough magazine   I only wish to receive Breakthrough by email My gift details Yes! I want to help Garvan make progress with a gift of  $50  $100  $250  $500  $1000  Gift of choice $_ ___  My cheque/money order made payable to Garvan Research Foundation is enclosed OR Please deduct the above amount  once  monthly  annually from my   Visa   MasterCard   Amex   Diners

Cardholder’s name Card number

Expiry date

2018 BT03

Signature Donations of $2 and above are tax deductible. Please complete this coupon and return it to: Garvan Research Foundation Reply Paid 68593, Darlinghurst NSW 2010 Call: 1300 73 66 77 (9am to 5pm) Fax: (02) 9295 8136 (you can use this coupon) Online:

Find out more and support our prostate cancer research at .

August 2018 13

Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter