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Updated by Cure Brain Cancer on Jun 18, 2017
Headline for Innovative Australian brain cancer research in 2015
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Innovative Australian brain cancer research in 2015

A list of innovative research projects Cure Brain Cancer is funding in Australia.

Overcoming resistance to antibody-drug conjugates in glioblastoma patients

Lead PI: Prof Andrew Scott, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Austin Health, VIC
An exciting potential new treatment for glioblastoma is ABT-414, an antibody drug conjugate targeting EGFR on GBM cells. This project aims to explore mechanisms of resistance to ABT-414 to accelerate the development of new treatments.

Circulating microRNA as a biomarker in brain cancer

Lead PI: Dr Andrew Morokoff, Royal Melbourne Hospital, VIC
This project will use a large biobank of brain tumour tissue and blood samples to screen and validate a panel of miRNAs (nucleotide fragments that are specific to brain cancer) as a clinically useful biomarker for brain cancer.

Targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor in high-grade glioma

Lead PI: Prof Terry Johns, Monash Institute for Medical Research - Prince Henry's Institute, VIC
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a protein that is genetically altered in more than half of all high grade gliomas. Different forms of EGFR are found in these tumours and Prof Johns’ group will use patient cells to identify which are resistant to EGFR-targeted drugs. Then, they will determine the mechanisms of resistance and how to reverse it.

VERTU – VEliparib, radiotherapy and Temozolomide trial in unmethylated MGMT glioblastoma

Lead PI: Dr Mustafa Khasraw, NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, NSW
GBM cells contain an enzyme called MGMT which has significant influence on effectiveness of treatment and survival. MGMT may be switched "on" or "off'. When MGMT is switched on, it ‘protects’ GBM cells from radiotherapy and chemotherapy. A new drug (veliparib) can make chemotherapy and radiation more effective. The trial group proposes adding veliparib to radiotherapy and to subsequent temozolomide to improve patient outcomes.

A Phase 1 and biodistribution study of KB004 in glioblastoma

Lead PI: Dr Hui Gan, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Austin Health, VIC
KB004 is a new antibody that targets EphA3, a cancer protein that makes GBM aggressive and treatment resistant. Utilising unique Australian expertise, this world-first study will test the safety of KB004 in GBM patients.

Understanding how epigenetic abnormalities lead to brain cancers

Lead PI: Dr Lee Wong, Monash University, VIC
The epigenetic code is cellular information which is encoded outside of the genome and controls gene expression. This project investigates how mutations of the epigenetic regulators, histone H3.3 and ATRX, can affect the epigenetic code in glioblastomas (GBM) and promote cancer formation.

Developing novel, EphA2 targeted PET molecular imaging technology for glioma

Lead PI: Dr Simon Puttick, The University of Queensland, QLD
The aim of this project is to develop targeted molecular imaging approaches for glioma, building on the team's exciting technology platform based on EphA2 receptor imaging.

Exceptional response to Avastin to identify biomarkers for GBM

Lead PI: A/Prof Kerrie McDonald, University of New South Wales, NSW
Avastin is a prohibitively expensive treatment for patients. To date, no biomarkers have been identified which can select those patients who will benefit. This project will use an Australian clinical trial dataset to identify the molecular phenotype of patients who responded to Avastin.

Pharmacological inhibition of MCL-1 and BCL-xL to treat human medulloblastoma

Lead PI: Prof Andreas Strasser, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, VIC
Prof Strasser’s team aims to develop novel strategies to kill brain cancer cells, leaving surrounding healthy tissue unharmed, by utilising newly developed drugs such as BH3-mimetics that specifically target the cell death machinery of the brain cancer cell.