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17
Oct
2018

AUSTRALIA’S MOST INNOVATIVE RESEARCHERS LEAD THE WAY IN $400,000 BID FOR BRAIN CANCER BREAKTHROUGH

 Innovation Grant recipients Associate Professor Lee Wong and Professor Andrew Scott

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation is proud to announce a $400,000 injection for cutting-edge research which we hope will help change the unacceptable statistics around brain cancer, facilitating breakthroughs via innovative and novel projects.

Brain cancer kills more children than any other disease in Australia, and more people under 40 than any other cancer. 

As part of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation’s program to rapidly increase Australian brain cancer research capacity, two researcher groups will each receive a $200,000 Innovation Grant, taking the Foundation’s commitment to brain cancer research to more than $6.5 million over the last five years. 

Professor Andrew Scott and Associate Professor Lee Wong have been awarded this funding following a high quality and competitive application process.

The gifted researchers were hand-picked by an international panel of experts for their ingenious projects, which break from traditional research paradigms and have the potential to fuel much-needed breakthroughs, and ultimately, improve brain cancer survival.

Michelle Stewart, CEO of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation said, “These projects are at the cutting-edge of brain cancer research, doing things differently to improve outcomes for brain cancer patients. We must support these innovative projects if we’re going to rapidly improve brain cancer survival.”  


Cure Brain Cancer Foundation CEO Michelle Stewart discusses the need for these grants

Associate Professor Lee Wong’s team at Monash University's Biomedicine Discovery Institute will study changes in gene expression (epigenetics) that can lead to gliomas – the most common form of brain cancer. They will look at how mutations in epigenetic regulators (ATRX, H3.3 and IDH1) lead to abnormal gene expression and genome instability, which fuel the development of these tumours. It’s hoped this research will shed new light on how gliomas form, leading to improved diagnosis and treatments.

“I want to thank Cure Brain Cancer Foundation for funding this research project,” Associate Professor Wong said. “With their support, my team aims to investigate the precise mechanisms disrupted in the cancer cells. Our ultimate aim is to assist drug development and treatment options by providing knowledge about the fundamental processes leading to the development of brain cancers," she said.

Professor Andrew Scott of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (La Trobe University School of Cancer Medicine) and Austin Health, with a world-class team of clinicians and scientists from around Australia, will work on improving prognosis and better predicting a glioblastoma patient’s likely response to therapy, along with their likelihood of resistance to treatment. They aim to achieve this by utilising an imaging technique for detecting amino acid metabolism in brain tumours using Positron Emission Tomography, in a clinical trial of over 200 patients. 

Prof Scott stated, “The Cure Brain Cancer Foundation grant is enabling sophisticated image analysis of PET and MRI scans in patients participating in a multi-centre Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) funded trial, which we hope will allow more accurate treatment and improve glioblastoma patient outcomes.” 

Since 2013, Cure Brain Cancer Foundation has committed more than $18 million to brain cancer research, backing 41 research projects and enabled the investigation of almost 120,000 drugs.