Development of personalised medicine approaches to treat medulloblastoma

Development of personalised medicine approaches to treat medulloblastoma

Recipient: Professor Bryan Day
Institute: QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
Funding: $263,960 July 2016 to June 2019

Childhood cancer treatment aims to get personal.

Medulloblastomas grow in the cerebellum. They are fast-growing, high-grade brain tumours which most commonly affect children, but can affect adults too. One of the major challenges in treating these patients is that individual cells within a single tumour mass are associated with different molecular characteristics. This leads to many different tumour behaviours along with variations in treatment response. Current diagnosis is unable to fully recognize this molecular diversity, nor can it provide information to guide appropriate treatment plans.

The project aims to address this issue among medulloblastoma patients by distinguishing tumour cells that survive standard therapies from those that are sensitive. The results from this research will allow researchers to identify patients who do not need aggressive treatments that cause chronic medical issues and to design and test therapies that could prolong patient survival.

“More research is urgently needed into this devastating disease. The Kids’ Cancer Project is helping researchers like me to work towards better treatment options for children with brain cancer.” Dr Bryan Day