A vast amount of our understanding about cancer has come from the detailed and systematic analysis of the structure, function and relationships of single molecules. Although there is still much to be learned from this approach, LICR believes it is imperative to also study individual tumor types in order to make continued and substantive progress in our understanding and control of cancer.
We now know that the term “cancer” encompasses a range of different diseases, and that there can be substantial differences in disease progression and/or treatment response between individuals with any one type of cancer. We also now know that tumors are composed of multiple, whole human cells and must be considered as organs having their own tissue structure and environment. LICR has thus established Cancer Initiatives through which LICR investigators and Affiliates are focusing their expertise drawn from multiple research fields on specific cancer types.
Currently the Institute has Brain, Breast, Colon and Ovarian Cancer Initiatives and a Melanoma Initiative.
- Brain Cancer Initiative- glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumors, the most common cause of brain cancer death, are the primary focus of this Initiative, which is composed of investigators from five LICR Branches (Melbourne, New York, San Diego, São Paulo, Stockholm), the LICR Melbourne Center and collaborators in Australia, Brazil, Spain and the USA.
- Breast Cancer Initiative- the three main themes of this Initiative are i) properties of normal and neoplastic breast cells, ii) the role of the stroma in tumor growth and cancer metastasis, and iii) clinical research activities leading to the development of novel diagnostics and therapies. This Initiative is composed of investigators from four LICR Branches (New York, São Paulo, Stockholm and Uppsala) and collaborators in Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK and USA.
- Colon Cancer Initiative- this Initiative is focusing on early detection, and the collection and use of tumor banks and patient data to allow the integrated study of behavioral and physiological factors associated with increased risk and poorer outcomes. The Initiative is composed of investigators from five LICR Branches (Melbourne, New York, San Diego, São Paulo, and Stockholm), the LICR Melbourne Center and participated along with LICR Affiliates and collaborators in the USA.
- Melanoma Initiative-this Initiative is exploring melanoma metastasis and the development of therapeutic cancer vaccines, and is composed of investigators from five LICR Branches (Melbourne, New York, San Diego, São Paulo, and Stockholm), the LICR Melbourne Center and collaborators from Australia, Brazil and the USA
- Ovarian Cancer Initiative-this Initiative is particularly focused on a multi-institutional sequencing project aimed at characterizing genetic mutations in ovarian cancer tumors, and is composed of investigators from five LICR Branches (Melbourne, New York, San Diego, São Paulo, and Stockholm), the LICR Melbourne Center and collaborators in the USA