The QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute has joined forces with the Dubai Health Authority to help secure the future of cancer research and treatment in Dubai.
The parties have signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding in Dubai, in the presence of Queensland deputy premier, Jackie Trad.
QIMR Berghofer’s director and CEO, Professor Frank Gannon, said the international partnership with the Dubai Government would establish strong and collaborative research and training links in cancer diagnosis and treatment, and in time could be extended to other diseases relevant to Dubai.
He said the partnership would focus on clinical research and translation and on participating in developing a world-leading healthcare system using precision medicine techniques developed by QIMR Berghofer.
“Our researchers have been able to develop genome-based diagnostic approaches that have the potential to revolutionise the diagnosis, treatment and management of cancer,” said Professor Gannon.
“This has been recognised internationally and, in this particular case, by the Dubai Health Authority.”
Professor Gannon said that under the agreement, the two parties would work together using new technologies, such as the integrated Cancer Recurrence Score (iCRS) test developed by the head of QIMR Berghofer’s personalised medicine team, Associate Professor Fares Al-Ejeh.
He said the iCRS was a new test that calculated a risk score of cancer progression for patients to help inform decisions on treatment pathways.
“The partnership between QIMR Berghofer and the Dubai Health Authority to accelerate precision medicine technologies designed by our scientists, will see them fully integrated into the Dubai health system,” continued Professor Gannon.
“This agreement is incredibly valuable and provides unique opportunities for our researchers.
“By working together, we will progress this field of genomics and precision medicine more quickly and vastly improve the treatments currently available for devastating diseases like cancer.”
Queensland’s Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said it was a significant partnership. “The agreement will see the creation of a framework for remarkable opportunities to be explored and developed by both parties.
“It really is incredible to see a Queensland institute taking the lead here in Dubai when it comes to building stronger health systems that will support the lives and health of many people.”
QIMR Berghofer’s Associate Professor Al-Ejeh, who secured the relationship with the Dubai Health Authority, said the agreement was an exciting first step.
“The centralised healthcare system in Dubai provides a unique opportunity to implement our precision medicine technologies rapidly to benefit patients, while ensuring maximum engagement from clinicians who are on the ground."