The Australian Translational Genomics Centre (ATGC) is the first genomic diagnostic service in Queensland and one of the largest programs of its kind in Australasia, providing whole-exome or whole-genome sequencing and microarray services.
Each year, more than 2000 Queenslanders will have access to DNA sequencing technology to identify cancer-causing genetic mutations, with the opening of a new genomics centre.
A Queensland first and one of the largest programs of its kind in Australasia, the Australian Translational Genomics Centre (ATGC) will lead to better treatment outcomes, with potentially fewer side-effects and better survival rates for patients with cancer.
Professor Matthew Brown, QUT Director of Genomics, said the facility would have a major impact on diagnosis of inherited disease and would be transformational for cancer management.
“We envisage that within the next 10 to 15 years, genome sequencing will replace most genetic tests currently used, and nearly all patients with significant cancers will have whole-exome sequences to inform treatment choices,” he said.
“In some cases the ATGC would be able to screen patient’s relatives to prevent similar cancers arising.”
Based at the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH), the Centre is a partnership between Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Metro South Hospital and Health Service, and Pathology Queensland.
Professor Brown said QUT’s genomics team had entered the partnership to bring their research capability into clinical practice, for the benefit of thousands of Queenslanders each year.
“This Queensland-first cutting edge genomic diagnostic service will also enable significant research into cancer causation, helping with the development of better therapies,” he said.
“We anticipate the centre will bridge the gap between genomic science and clinical care for Queensland cancer patients.”
Within the next 10 to 15 years, genome sequencing will replace most genetic tests currently used, and nearly all patients with significant cancers will have whole-exome sequences to inform treatment choices. The ATGC, located on level 2 R-wing of Princess Alexandra Hospital, will provide next-generation sequencing (NGS) pathology service to Metro South HHS including whole-exome and genome DNA sequencing, RNA sequencing as well as SNP and microarrays and panels amongst other genomic investigational methods.
The facility will offer rapid and comprehensive screening for cancer mutations, identify specific mutational profiles at patient diagnosis required for inclusion in frontline therapeutic clinical trials, reduce resources needed to introduce tests for new genetic variants and may lead to new cancer management protocols based on the primary molecular causes of the cancer.