The ACRF Drug Discovery Centre at the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia (CCIA) asked us for help to develop screening for novel therapies for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) – a devastating brain tumour that is the most aggressive of all childhood cancers. ‘Milton’ is the nickname of one of three intelligent machines at the Centre, which can do the manual work a scientist would take up to a year to do in just a few days.
DIPG tumours are very hard to treat because they form within the brainstem and developing new treatments has proved difficult because they are rarely biopsied.
Since the appeal last Christmas the team at CCIA have made significant progress with their research. They have successfully grown DIPG cells in culture - representing the first DIPG cell line ever cultured in the lab – and the team have identified several potential new treatments which they will continue to develop in pre-clinical models. They have a better understanding of the biology of different DIPG cultures and now plan to screen for potential combination therapies.
Thank you to everyone who supported our last Christmas appeal. Your donations really do make a difference to brain cancer research and with your help, our appeal this Christmas to give something meaningful will lead to more developments in research projects in 2014.