Every year in Australia, more than 1000 young people are diagnosed with cancer, many of them with a terminal prognosis. The Garvan Institute of Medical Research is unrelenting in its quest to understand what drives cancer in these young Australians.

Garvan’s researchers are passionate and tenacious. Their aim is to explore the power of genome sequencing to crack cancer’s code and help deliver better outcomes for young patients.

Genome Power is a Vodafone Foundation initiative supporting Garvan’s genomic cancer medicine research for young people.

Now, you can help power this research, too.

The power of your DNA

In Australia, cancer is the leading cause of non-accidental deaths of young people, yet clinical trials are often geared towards adult and paediatric cancers, limiting the treatment options available for our young people.

The Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Program is a nationally-available program with two main areas of focus – clinical trials matching patients to therapies, and a risk-management program for families with an inherited high risk of cancer. Through this program, young people with rare or less common cancers can access cutting-edge genomic cancer medicine trials in which the entire DNA of a patient is profiled and compared with the DNA of their tumour to discern the underlying cause of their cancer and target treatment accordingly.

“Cancers are traditionally thought of as a disease of the elderly,” says Professor David Thomas, Head of the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Program, Director of The Kinghorn Cancer Centre and Cancer Division Head at the Garvan Institute.

“However, rare cancers disproportionately affect adolescents and young adults. We are seeking to ensure that all young adults with incurable rare cancers have access to this important clinical trial”.

“We see it as critical to deliver our program – which uses genomic information to find treatments for those who have exhausted all other options – to our young people fighting cancer.”

Join in and help power the fight against cancer

Such intensive and complex research requires huge amounts of time and money.

This is where you come in. You can help power more research breakthroughs.

Text “POWER” to 199 88 200 and donate $5 towards powering cancer research for young people at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.*

And if you want to power more research for Garvan, you can download the Vodafone Foundation app DreamLab, which is helping to speed up the pace of cancer research at the Garvan Institute through the power of users’ smartphones.

The free app, available on iOS and Android, aims to uncover truths about cancer hidden within its DNA, by comparing different types of cancer cells.

For users, it’s simple: they plug in their phone at night, open the app, and their phone solves research puzzles, sending the results back to Garvan researchers via the Amazon cloud – like a giant crossword puzzle, with each app user solving a different part.

Terms and conditions

*Charge $5.00 per SMS. Ansible Pty Ltd SMS Helpline 1300 783 035. Donation open to all residents of Australia. Available on eligible plans and services only. Currently not available on Optus. Persons under 18 years of age must have parent/guardian permission to donate. Please see www.garvan.org.au for more information.

DreamLab Terms and conditions: A compatible handset is required. Downloading DreamLab will consume data. Once downloaded, DreamLab can be used when your device (i) is connected to a charging source and (ii) has mobile network or WiFi connectivity. Mobile data to use DreamLab is free for Vodafone Australia customers on the Vodafone Australia network. Roaming incurs international rates.

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Meg Retka-Tidd

Senior Manager, Partners & Programs, Vodafone Foundation

Meg Retka-Tidd,
Senior Manager, Partners & Programs, Vodafone Foundation

Working closely with our partners The Garvan Institute and Hello Sunday Morning, Meg helps the Vodafone Foundation live out its day-to-day purpose of using technology to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians.