Genomic profiling PrOSPeCT achieves a significant patient milestone

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Australia's largest cancer genomics initiative has achieved a significant milestone. Over 5,000 Australians diagnosed with hard-to-treat cancers with minimal treatment options have received referrals for free comprehensive genomic profiling.

Precision Oncology Screening Platform Enabling Clinical Trials (PrOSPeCT) is led by not-for-profit cancer genomics pioneer Omico. PrOSPeCT was established in 2023 to provide 23,000 Australians with advanced or incurable cancers, or earlier diagnoses of cancers with poor prognoses, comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) of their cancer at no cost.

Over 750 clinicians are now referring patients to PrOSPeCT.

Omico said that data collected from these 5,000 referrals has found three out of four have an actionable genetic biomarker identified within their cancer.

More than one-third of the patients are from rural and regional areas, they are aged from 16 to 91, with an average of 58. The data shows a 

The initiative also shows a broad representation of cancer types for profiling with referrals for breast, lung, colorectal, prostate, melanoma, rare and less common cancers.

“We are very proud of achieving this milestone, and applaud the oncology community for embracing PrOSPeCT, and ensuring Australians facing a challenging cancer diagnosis gain access to genomic information that may significantly improve their life expectancy,” says Professor David Thomas, chief science and strategy officer at Omico, and cirector, Centre of Molecular Oncology, UNSW.

PrOSPeCT has funds of $185 million, including grant funding of $61.2 million from the Australian Government, $25 million from the NSW Government, and a commercial collaboration between Omico, the National Computational Infrastructure at Australian National University, Children’s Cancer Institute and Roche Australia.

“Central to the initiative is linking to precision oncology trials in Australia and expanding access for a high needs community to new targeted therapies provided by the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. To date, over 50 clinical trials have been supported by PrOSPeCT which is an incredible outcome, and we want to continue this,” said Ian Black, Omico CEO.

A retrospective analysis of data from a previous Omico precision oncology program known as MoST (Molecular Screening and Therapeutics Study) found more than a third of patients (37.5 per cent) carried biomarkers in their cancer with good clinical evidence for therapeutic benefit. In the first 3,383 patients enrolled in MoST, patients who accessed matched therapies based on these biomarkers had a median survival time double that of patients receiving unmatched treatment.

Omico said PrOSPeCT has delivered 164 direct highly skilled jobs in the medical and science sectors, an estimated 820 indirect jobs across health, administration, pathology and pharmacy, and around $138 million in foreign investment in local clinical trials.

PrOSPeCT is currently directly supporting 53 company-sponsored precision oncology trials. Ten of these would not have opened in Australia but for PrOSPeCT.