New therapeutic targets for paediatric medulloblastoma

New therapeutic targets for paediatric medulloblastoma

Recipient: Dr Bryan Day
Institute: QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
Funding: $208,549 July 2014 to June 2015 and July 2017 to June 2018



Funding partner: This project is supported by a donor of The Kids’ Cancer Project

Dr Bryan Day from the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane has been investigating the role of a group of proteins in paediatric medulloblastoma, a fast-growing, high-grade brain tumour that most commonly affects children, but can affect adults too. The proteins, known as Eph receptors, are not usually present in normal healthy tissue but are found in a number of cancers, including adult brain cancer where they have been shown to contribute to aggressiveness.

Dr Day aims to determine what function Eph receptors play in medulloblastoma cells and whether they can be used as new therapeutic targets. With highly encouraging results to date, further funding by The Kids’ Cancer Project will allow an expanded scope of these studies. Work to be conducted during the funding period will include validation that the antibody-based approach is effective in all four medulloblastoma molecular subgroups, and that it can be used in combination with chemotherapy and radiation. If effective, this could lead to clinical testing of these novel therapies in children with medulloblastoma.

“Sadly, too many children are still dying of brain cancer.” Dr Bryan Day

This project received further support through Cancer Australia's Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme.