Pfizer funds Australian collaborative for cancer imaging

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The Peter MacCallum Pfizer Translational Oncology Research Collaborative Hub (TORCH) has received $15 million in funding over three years from pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

The collaboration will integrate three activities—molecular imaging, cancer genomics and high quality clinical trial capabilities. The ultimate aim will be new and improved treatments for cancer patients, according to the Melbourne, Australia-based TORCH.

Peter Mac CEO Craig Bennett said the development of new cancer treatments had undergone a dramatic change.

"The emphasis of research has shifted towards personalizing medicine using information and data from a patient's genotype to tailor drugs specifically to a patient's genetic profile," Bennett said.

The new collaboration expands on the existing Pfizer program which combines PET imaging to measure blood flow, oxygen use and sugar metabolism to detect cancer in the body with biomarkers used to predict which patients will benefit most from new cancer treatments, according to the collaborative.