In a groundbreaking development, Canberra’s medical community has been at the forefront of this pioneering research initiative, collaborating with several local hospitals and organizations to redefine brain cancer treatment methods. Their efforts have culminated in promising outcomes, which could bring new hope to patients and their families battling brain cancer.
The Canberra Brain Cancer Collaborative, under the leadership of Professor Leonie Quinn and her dedicated team, has established Canberra’s first Brain Cancer Biobank. This milestone was achieved through the receipt of a generous $300,000 grant from the 2022 Research Innovation Fund round.
The biobank stores brain cancer samples and genetic information collected from patients receiving treatment at Canberra Hospital. This establishment plays a role in supporting Brain Cancer Biobanking Australia, which serves as a virtual biobank hub for researchers across the nation, facilitating their access to brain cancer tissue, specimens, and data.
The data collected from the biobank allows researchers at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University (ANU) to create three-dimensional bio-printed ‘miniature brain models.’
This enables them to examine the growth patterns of tumors and how they react to treatments, as well as to test customized therapeutic medications for individual patients. The aim is to advance the development of novel cancer therapies and enhance the quality of clinical healthcare.
“The ACT Health Research Innovation Fund has provided us with an exciting opportunity to explore the complex environment where brain cancer occurs and ultimately develop new treatments,” Professor Leonie Quinn, Canberra Brain Cancer Collaborative Lead and Research and Innovation Fund recipient, said.
“The biobank will enable more personalised treatments, which are critical to improving survival rates and quality of life for people diagnosed with the disease. It will secure the ACT as a health research hub and improve the clinical experience of cancer patients around Australia,” she added.
The Research and Innovation Fund follows the direction set by Better Together: A strategic roadmap for research within the ACT health system from 2022 to 2030.
Five fellowships from the Research Innovation Fund 2023 have recently been unveiled, providing assistance to healthcare researchers in Canberra who are in the early to mid-stages of their careers.
The diverse research initiatives chosen encompass improvements in post-diagnostic support for individuals with dementia, assistance for community reactions to voluntary assisted dying, and investigations into allergies and immunodeficiencies among patients in the ACT.