$2.4 million ACRF Cancer Imaging Facility Opens

A ground-breaking State Cancer Imaging Facility has officially opened at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Perth. 

ACRF launch
Perkins Director, Professor Peter Leedman unveils a plaque naming the new facility with the Acting Chairman of the ACRF, Mr Stephen Rix. 

The $2.4 million facility, which uses specialised imaging equipment, has been funded by the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, thanks to a bequest from a strong advocate of cancer research.

The Acting Chairman of the ACRF, Stephen Rix, said that the donation in the will of Mr Kevin McCusker had provided the ability to significantly expand the cancer imaging capability in WA.

“Mr McCusker was a quiet and unassuming man of strong principles and deep feelings and his family told the ACRF that he made this bequest because people he loved died from cancer. His lasting legacy is the provision of a world-class imaging hub for cancer diagnosis and management in Western Australia.”

“Much of his own money was acquired through inheritance and we believe he felt it was the best way he could recognise those who had provided so well for him,” Mr Rix said.

The ACRF grant is the second to be awarded to the Perkins (formerly the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research). The grants were awarded in 1999 and 2010 with a combined value of $3.6 million.

The new equipment includes a microMagnetic Resonance Imaging Scanner (microMRI), a hybrid microPostitron Emission Tomography/X-ray computed Tomography scanner (microPET/CT), a hybrid Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography/CT scanner (microSPECT/CT).

The MRI, PET/CT and SPECT/CT scanners in the Cancer Imaging Facility are all non-invasive, high resolution monitoring tools that are smaller versions of human imaging equipment, allowing researchers to examine tumour development in pre-clinical models of cancer and determine effective forms of treatment.

The Director of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Professor Peter Leedman said the preclinical equipment in the facility was essential in the fight against human cancer.

“It helps our researchers move towards earlier disease detection, prevention strategies and assessment of the efficacy of new cancer treatments,” he said.

“Investigating tumours in these models is a critical bridge between discoveries in the laboratory and the development of therapeutics to treat cancer patients.”

Professor Leedman said that ACRF was filling a gap which no other organization filled, which was core infrastructure.

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