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Victoria opens the door to the genomic medicine era

The huge potential of genomics in medicine is on the way to being realised sooner in Victoria, with the announcement today that genomic sequencing will be provided to patients in a number of specific disease areas over the next two years.

Victorian Health Minister, The Hon Jill Hennessy, today announced the disease areas for which the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance will provide genomic sequencing to selected patients and evaluate its usefulness for medical practice. The announcement was made at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, one of 10 Alliance members.

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Background about the disease areas

Teams of doctors, genetic counsellors, health service researchers and scientists will work together over the next two years to offer genomic sequencing to patients with particular medical conditions and evaluate its impact.

Patients fitting specific criteria will be invited by their doctors to have genomic sequencing at the same time as the usual approaches to diagnosis and care. The outcomes of each approach are then compared, to understand how genomic sequencing can be most usefully applied by doctors for the benefit of patients.

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Background about Melbourne Genomics and its work

Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance will provide around 2,000 genomic sequencing tests to Victorians  over the next four years. And many more Victorians will benefit in the long term from the Alliance’s work in integrating genomics into everyday healthcare.

Genomic medicine holds huge promise for human health, but, across the world, experience shows that there are also many challenges to implementing genomics into everyday healthcare for the benefit of patients.

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Background about genomics

Genomics has huge potential to improve healthcare. Looking at a patient’s genome may help doctors diagnose illness more quickly and easily, as well as working out what treatment/management might best help.

Genomics is a rapidly advancing field worldwide, which examines an individual’s complete set of genetic information (the genome) to identify changes (variants) that may impact on health. Genomics offers enormous potential to improve diagnosis and provide more personalised treatment/management of medical conditions.

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Background information for media

What is Melbourne Genomics?

Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance was formed in 2013 with the goal of integrating the huge potential of genomics into everyday health care.

Founding Alliance members

The Royal Melbourne Hospital

The University of Melbourne

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

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