To facilitate the research we undertake across a number of sites, the VEG supports clinical fellows, project managers, laboratory research assistant and scientists, clinical trial nurses and managers, as well as the materials and analysis required for the laboratory projects.
The Victorian Epigenetics Group (VEG) focuses on the laboratory-clinic interface at the ‘pre-clinical to clinical’ juncture to provide personalised epigenetic therapy for patients with haematological malignancies through pre-clinical evaluation, identifying biomarkers for response and relapse and testing these in the clinic using early phase clinical trials of epigenetic therapies and combinations.
The reversibility of epigenetic ‘marks’ such as histone modifications and DNA methylation provide a key therapeutic target already resulting in various epigenetic therapies achieving formal regulatory registration for prescribing across the globe. Nonetheless, there is a need to build upon the clinical successes of current treatments to improve patient outcomes. These three key platforms of Clinical trials, Biomarker and Discovery are facilitated by a VEG specimen database capturing details of all samples from VEG trials.
The VEG brings together internationally recognised epigenetic experts in Victoria to undertake collaborative research. This research will result in clinical trials of ‘epigenetic drugs’ for patients with blood cancers incorporating detailed laboratory studies on how these new drugs work and how to use them better.
The VEG has a broad and cohesive 4 part plan to deliver epigenetic translational research:
- Continue and expand existing trials
There are currently 7 clinical trials in epigenetics open across VEG sites which will be open to additional sites and expect to complete accrual and provide samples for biomarker development during the course of the grant.
- Initiate new trials of rational epigenetic therapies
The VEG has plans for at least 6 new clinical trials across a variety of haematological malignancies which will be further developed by the 2 VEG clinical fellows.
- Develop and validate novel response/resistance biomarkers
Using the extensive VEG correlative specimen database and relevant in vitro and in vivo models, we will develop a number of biomarker platforms across the expertise in our collaborative labs.
- Develop model discovery systems
We will continue to develop preclinical modelling of rationally selected combination approaches incorporating epigenetic modifiers in mouse models of human AML, human myeloma and the immune environment while exploring new platforms for assessing epigenetic alterations.