Dialog Box


Funding for brain cancer immunotherapy clinical trials

Jillian Skinner at Cure Brain Cancer ball

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation congratulates the NSW Government for its foresight and commitment by providing initial funding to enable brain cancer immunotherapy clinical trials to take place in Australia.

This funding, worth $250,000, will be used to buy specialist equipment that will be used by clinicians and researchers to participate in international immunotherapy clinical trials investigating the use of therapeutic vaccines to treat brain cancer in NSW.

Based at the Kolling Institute at the Royal North Shore Hospital, this emerging brain cancer immunotherapy clinical trials expertise will give people living with brain cancer access to potential new treatments, such as dendritic cell vaccines, which up until now, could only be accessed overseas.

Cure Brain Cancer’s Head of Research Strategy, Michelle Stewart, said:

“We are very grateful to the NSW Health Minister, Hon Jillian Skinner MP, for enabling us to take the vital next step towards setting up an Australian Centre of Excellence for Brain Cancer Immunotherapy in NSW. Minister Skinner has been a long-term supporter of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and is dedicated, as we are, to finding answers for this appalling disease.”

Attracting clinical trials to Australia is key to enabling earlier access to new, potentially lifesaving medications, many years before they are available for general treatment.

Dendritic Cell Vaccines

These are made in the laboratory by combining and culturing cancer proteins extracted from the tumour with dendritic cells taken from the patient's blood. Dendritic cells, also known as antigen-presenting cells, identify tumour cells for the immune system's cancer-fighting T-cells. The new dendritic cells resulting from this union are re-injected into the patient, where they recognise and destroy any lingering malignant tumour cells.

Dendritic cell vaccines are prepared specifically for each patient, using the patient’s own tumour and blood supply in a multi-step manufacturing process.