NSW Health and Medical Research Minister Jillian Skinner was on hand earlier this month for the opening of the $6.5 million Centre for Oncology Education and Research Translation, or "COncERT" [sic], at Liverpool Hospital.
It is in the Thomas & Rachel Moore Education Centre and its mission is to accelerate the development of new drugs and treatments for Australian cancer patients.
The centre is managed by the Ingham Institute with the universities of NSW and Western Sydney, Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute and the South Western Sydney Local Health District. It also has collaborative partners in Canberra.
It was funded by the Cancer Institute NSW.
"By bringing people together we can accelerate the discovery of new drugs and treatments for the future benefits of patients," Ms Skinner said.
Cancer continues to be the greatest contributor to disease in Australia.
In NSW alone, 37,525 people were diagnosed with invasive cancer in 2009. It is anticipated there will be 50,967 new cases by 2021.
Centre director, Professor Paul de Souza, said the funding would help cancer patients throughout the various stages, from diagnosis through to long-term care and survival.
"The Ingham Institute and our research partners see and treat a significant proportion of NSW cancer patients, including those with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds or living in remote areas," he said.
The large footprint of the centre partners serves more than 5500 new cancer patients in NSW each year and brings together more than 200 professional members spanning all aspects of cancer research, diagnosis, treatment and care.
"COncERT will enable us to work together more efficiently as a team to study specific cancers in-depth and improve clinical care," Professor de Souza said.