Bioinformatics personalising patient care

Bioinformatics personalising patient care

Illuminate newsletter index page, June 2018
June 2018

Professor Tony Papenfuss
Professor Tony Papenfuss has helped develop software that
is being used improve the care of cancer patients in Victoria.

Institute researchers have developed an innovative bioinformatics software tool to accurately detect complex genetic mutations in cancers.

The software is already being used to improve the care of cancer patients in Victoria.

Detecting chromosomal catastrophes

Some cancers display complex chromosome rearrangements that drive how the disease progresses and responds to treatment but are often difficult to identify.

Institute researchers Professor Tony Papenfuss and Dr Daniel Cameron developed a software program, called GRIDSS (Genome Rearrangement IDentification Software Suite), which is the best in the world at detecting chromosomal rearrangements. The method was published in the journal Genome Research.

Professor Papenfuss said the GRIDSS program outperformed current tools available for doing this kind of cancer research.

“It’s really the new state-of-the-art technology, using a selection of novel algorithms that have been specially designed to identify chromosomal rearrangements in cancer,” he said.

Helping cancer patients with bioinformatics

The new bioinformatics tool is already being used at Victoria’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre to personalise cancer treatment.

The tool allows cancer specialists to identify genetic mutations in cancer and better target treatments to the particular patient’s cancer.

“Understanding the molecular basis of a patient’s cancer helps to inform how specialists treat the cancer, and identify novel targets for creating new anti-cancer drugs.”

“Through the Peter Mac, patients are already benefiting from this new technology,” Professor Papenfuss said.

Super Content: 
Melanie Bahlo

Talking to Einstein A Go Go as we celebrate the Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) 'Medical Research Week'.