Providing hope for kids with brain cancer

Outcomes for children with brain cancer have changed very little in the last 30 years. Brain cancer leads to more deaths in children than any other disease, and survival is often coupled with lifelong disability.

Our 2023 WCH Foundation Bloom Research Program grant round called for projects to bring new hope to kids with brain cancer – and Professors Jordan Hansford and Simon Barry answered that call with two projects hoping to understand the predictors of survivorship and explore new treatments.

Noralyn Manucat-Tan, Professor Jordan Hansford and Amanda Luck in the SAHMRI labs.

Dr Noralyn Manucat-Tan, Professor Jordan Hansford and Amanda Luck in the SAHMRI labs.

Professor Hansford and his team have been biobanking brain tumour samples in the labs of SAHMRI, preserving them for years to come and making them accessible to researchers globally.

Our community’s support has allowed the team to start advanced genomic and epigenomic investigation into the predictors of late effects in long-term survivors of paediatric brain cancer. They are using the latest molecular and sequencing technologies to learn all that they can from the biobanked samples and share the knowledge worldwide.

Professor Simon Barry in the Women’s and Children’s Hospital labs. (brain cancer)

Professor Simon Barry in the Women’s and Children’s Hospital labs.

While in the labs of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Professor Simon Barry and his team are focusing their attention on immunotherapy, so that children with this devastating disease may both survive, and thrive. This revolutionary treatment is already standard for some children and young people with leukaemia.

Our community’s generous support has brought together key experts in CAR-T and childhood brain cancer to establish the SA Centre for Paediatric Cancer Immunotherapy, which it is hoped will eventually pave the way for clinical delivery of immunotherapy here in SA.

Learn more about our Bloom Research Program

 

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