A collaboration between researchers from the Centre for Genetic Origins of Health and Disease, The University of Western Australia, Curtin University, The University of Melbourne, King Edward Memorial Hospital and the QEII Medical Centre has recently been awarded $1.2M over three years from the Cancer Council of WA. The project, 'Integrating personalised genomics into risk-stratification models of population screening for cancer', is led by Winthrop Professor Eric Moses and Professor Peter O'Leary from Curtin University.
Screening programs for breast, bowel and cervical cancers use age and gender to identify people most at risk. However several other risk factors, such as ethnicity, genetics, family history and lifestyle also contribute to cancer risk. The research team will develop a new screening program for cancer using lifestyle, genetics and family history data to identify individuals at high risk. This will enable screening to be targeted at those with the greatest chance of getting cancer which will lead to more people having their cancer diagnosed earlier. This in turn will lead to better treatment and outcomes for people with cancer and lower healthcare costs. People who are free of disease and with a low risk of cancer will be spared the inconvenience and harms of screening.