We’ve funded three projects that are road-testing practical solutions to the real-world challenges of using genomics in patient care.

What are we doing?

From 2014-2020, our studies demonstrated the clinical utility and value of genomics across a range of conditions. Now, it’s time to embed genomics in the Victorian health system.

We’ve funded three projects that will help make genomics part of everyday care. These projects are road-testing practical solutions to the real-world challenges of using genomics in patient care.

Each project works collaboratively across multiple hospital sites, testing and improving their solutions in real-time. They will ensure health services in Victoria are equipped to offer genomics: developing the frameworks, tools and pathways needed to support the wider adoption of genomic medicine.

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Genome-guided personalised medicine for transplant patients

Genomics in the field of liver and kidney disease is currently focused on diagnosis, but there is great potential to use genomic information to also improve care of patients.

Using genomics to guide care can reduce risk from patient treatment, which is key when the stakes are high, and the margin of error is small. This extra information can provide more certainty, and makes a big difference to both the patient and the health system in a high-intensity area of care like transplants.

This project applies genomics in a new way. Results from a patient’s genomic test will be used to inform transplant planning and post-operative care, potentially preventing adverse drug reactions, reducing the length of hospital stays, lowering costs, and reducing unplanned readmissions.

This project team are investigating how best to incorporate this proactive sequencing into their current model of care, with the aim of making results available in time to make a difference to patients.

This project involves The Royal Melbourne Hospital and Austin Health, in collaboration with the Australian Genome Research Facility. It is led by Prof Paul James of The Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

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Clinical genomics care for patients with dementia

Genomic testing can precisely diagnose complex neurological conditions, providing crucial information to patients and their families.

Patients and family members currently face long odysseys, involving lengthy periods of uncertainty, many tests and hospital visits, and inconsistent access to genomic testing. This project explores the best way to make genomics part of standard care for patients with early-onset dementia and cognitive disorders.

Genetic counsellors will be placed at dementia and neurology clinics at three hospitals, enabling patients and families to receive consistent and timely access to genomic testing and support. This model aims to improve diagnosis for younger-onset dementia, without patients and their families having to make additional contact with genetics services.

This project uses whole genome sequencing to check for disease-causing gene changes, which provides more information than current panel testing. An accurate genomic diagnosis of younger onset dementia can be useful for patient care and can enable gene testing for relatives.

This project will involve The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Monash Health and Austin Health, in collaboration with the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and WEHI. It is led by Dr Aamira Huq of The Royal Melbourne Hospital.

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A new model for care for Victorians with kidney disease

Victoria’s work in kidney genomics has been ground-breaking: giving people answers faster, reducing the cost of care, and providing evidence for Medicare-funded genomic tests for kidney disease.

The next step is to ensure health services can keep up. People who specialise in kidney genomics are in high demand, and patients are facing long wait times before being seen. The project team is trialling a new model of care to ensure equitable and sustainable delivery of genomics in nephrology and other specialties.

This project supports the state-wide use of an expert multidisciplinary kidney genomics team to discuss challenging cases and upskill the workforce. It is also providing access to local ‘genomics champions’ in nephrology for each participating hospital and their peripheral sites so that clinicians and patients can readily access genomic information and support.

This will make it easier for Victorians with kidney disease to get a genomic test when they need it, and to understand what the results mean for their ongoing health.

This project will involve Monash Health, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Austin Health and The Royal Children’s Hospital, in collaboration with the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, AGRF and the University of Melbourne. It is led by Dr Kushani Jayasinghe of Monash Health.

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Melbourne Genomics acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, on whose lands we work, and all First Nations peoples across Victoria. We pay respect to Elders past and present. We also acknowledge the First Nations health professionals, researchers and leaders who are shaping the future of genomic medicine.

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