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The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) Centre for Advanced Cancer Genomics, housed at the Perkins, is helping local medical researchers build an in-depth knowledge of the varying cell types that make up a person’s tumour. The information that the centre can generate is offering new insights into how cancer cells evolve and interact with normal cells, with the ultimate goal to produce new personalised treatments for patients.

Tumours are complex entities that are composed of many different cell types, both cancerous and non-cancerous cells from different parts of the body. In the past, medical researchers have taken a lump of tumour and compared it with normal tissue or similar tumours and averaged the results. This meant that patients were prescribed treatments based on the typical best practice for their cancer type. Now with the next-generation equipment at the ACRF Centre for Advanced Cancer Genomics, researchers are able to visualise thousands of cells within a complex tumour tissue. This allows for the analysis of individual cells inside a tumour, with the hope of tailoring a treatment plan that could treat every cell that tumour is made up of.


The facility is comprised of key pieces of equipment

The Illumina NovaSeq 6000

  • Production sequencing system used by the Centre.
  • High sequencing capacity and cost effectiveness.

The Illumina NextSeq 500 and Illumina MiSeq

  • Flexible systems for smaller runs
  • Rapid turnaround sequencing
  • Adjustable read lengths suitable for optimising new library types.


  • Spatial transcriptomics based on Multiplexed Error Robust Flourescence in situ hybridization.
  • Allows users to spatially resolve the location of up to 500 transcripts.
  • Highly sensitive and will be used by the Centre to map cell types and biomarkers across tumour samples.

Nanostring nCounter Sprint

  • Scalable, highly sensitive system for measuring gene expression in archival samples.

10x Genomic Chromium X

  • High throughput system to generate cost-effective single cell RNA-seq data.
  • Compatible with both fresh and fixed RNA assays.

Western Australian Cancer Single Cell Consortium

The transformational funding provided by the ACRF to purchase these essential cutting-edge pieces of equipment has been complemented by funds for staff and experiments from the Perth based Cancer Research Trust. Together this has enabled the Centre to establish a collaborative consortium of 100 members (oncologists, pathologists, genomic scientists and bioinformaticians). Together we are applying advanced single cell and spatial transcriptomic methods to better understand cancer as a cellular ecosystem. We have ongoing projects on multiple cancer types including ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, melanoma, and liver cancer.

For updates on publications from the consortium see here.


To ensure that the ACRF equipment is utilised at optimal capacity, the Centre for Advanced Cancer Genomics has also partnered with Genomics WA. Genomics WA is a genomics service provider that offers sequencing, library generation and analysis to researchers across the state and nationally.

Get in touch

Please email for further details.
E. [email protected]