Case study – The Precinct in Action

Alliance results demonstrate the success of genomic medicine

Research continues to improve our understanding of how changes in a person’s genes influence their health, the course of a disease and its response to treatment.

While genomic sequencing now enables quicker and cheaper analysis of large amounts of genetic information, there remain challenges to delivering this in patient care.While genomic sequencing now enables quicker and cheaper analysis of large amounts of genetic information, there remain challenges to delivering this in patient care.

The Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance brings together 10 of Australia’s leading health, research and education organisations to effectively integrate genomics into healthcare by identifying when and how genomics is used for greatest benefit. The Alliance is a seamless, multidisciplinary effort, which supports health professionals to incorporate sequencing into their practice. Patients can have their genome sequenced by medical scientists; clinicians interpret this information into better care and treatments.

In 2016, the Alliance’s Demonstration Project, which provided genomic sequencing to 315 patients with one of five medical conditions, found that when doctors provide genomic sequencing to patients within the healthcare system:

  • at least six times more patients receive  a diagnosis
  • patients receive care tailored to  their individual genetic make-up
  • patients can have fewer tests because  genomic data can be stored and analysed  again and again (one in 10 undiagnosed patients received a result this way, a  number expected to increase as we learn more about the genome from researchers)

Importantly, the study provides evidence that, for certain medical conditions one genomic test can replace a multitude of other investigations – resulting in more efficient healthcare spending.

 

Alliance partners:

Royal Melbourne Hospital, Royal Children’s Hospital, University of Melbourne, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, CSIRO, Australian Genome Research Facility, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Austin Health and Monash Health.

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