Announcement: 2018 PdCCRS grant recipients

Announcement: 2018 PdCCRS grant recipients Cancer Australia and The Kids' Cancer Project reveal successful applicants of new funding.

The Kids’ Cancer Project and Cancer Australia are pleased to announce successful applicants to the 2018 round of the Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme (PdCCRS).

A full list of successful applicants can be found at The Kids’ Cancer Project is proud to contribute to funding four of the 33 grants listed.
“Our investment of $900,000 over three years toward four new childhood cancer studies translates to $2.31 million dollars when you add in the collaborative contribution from Cancer Australia and other funding partners,” said Owen Finegan, Chief Executive of The Kids’ Cancer Project.

Successful applicants in the 2018 Round of the Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme co-funded by The Kids’ Cancer Project

Henderson, Michelle
University of New South Wales
Targeting the NAD pathway as a new therapeutic strategy for high-risk leukaemia in children
Funded by: Cancer Australia, The Kids’ Cancer Project and Leukaemia Foundation of Australia
Hovey, Elizabeth
University of Sydney
Personalised targeted therapy for adolescent and young adult medulloblastoma patients
Funded by: Cancer Australia and The Kids’ Cancer Project
Wainwright, Brandon
The University of Queensland
Exploiting CDK4/6 inhibition to treat medulloblastoma
Funded by: Cancer Australia, The Kids’ Cancer Project and Children’s Hospital Foundation
Ziegler, David
Sydney Children’s Hospital
Targeting Polo-like kinase 1 as a novel therapeutic opportunity for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas
Funded by: Cancer Australia and The Kids’ Cancer Project

“I was really pleased to see that at least four other studies related to kids’ cancer are also being funded by this round,” said Finegan.

“That 30 per cent of the 2018 PdCCRS funding is in childhood cancer research is a great demonstration that the Government is making our most vulnerable children a priority.”

The funding includes $556,563 awarded to Associate Professor David Ziegler at Sydney Children's Hospital for his important work into developing more effective treatments for the incurable brain cancer in children known as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).
DIPG accounts for the majority of the 30 to 40 children who die each year from brain cancer in Australia. In fact, it is the main cause of death in children with brain cancer. Diagnosis is usually at five to seven years of age and the median survival time is only nine months.

Due to the cancer’s location within the brainstem, it cannot be removed surgically. DIPG is a disease that does not respond to chemotherapy and radiotherapy is palliative only. 
The Ziegler laboratory has found that a new class of drugs called Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) inhibitors are highly potent against the first DIPG cells ever grown in the laboratory. Further, that this new drug works well in synergy with an existing medication prescribed to treat other cancers.
This important discovery will be used to develop the optimal combination therapy at the bench with a view to fast tracking findings to the bedside to directly benefit children with DIPG.

“We are really excited about this project," said  Associate Professor Ziegler. "And are in active negotiation with a drug company to try to get a trial up and running as soon as possible. Thanks again to The Kids’ Cancer Project for your ongoing and reliable support.”

“The Kids' Cancer Project recognises that innovative treatment options for DIPG are urgently needed if we are going to achieve our vision of 100 per cent survival of all children diagnosed with cancer," said Finegan.

"That's why we are currently funding two additional scentific studies to find effective treatments for this particular disease. They are Novel therapies for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) and Synthetic retinoid therapy for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma."

“It's great to know the Federal Government join us in our firm belief that this research has the potential find a cure and the save lives of children with an incurable brain cancer,” said Finegan. 

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