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13 Oct 2021

New Australian brain cancer collaboration

  • VCCC Alliance
  • Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute
  • Telethon Kids Institute
  • QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

First symposium this month

The Australian Brain Cancer Research Alliance (ABCARA) is a new alliance of brain cancer focused researchers and clinician scientists with an interest in adult brain cancer research.

The alliance is seeking to develop a national research collaboration to accelerate developments in brain cancer research and patient outcomes. A first step is to understand the scope of research and use of technology among peers nationwide. A full day symposium will precede the COGNO Annual Scientific Meeting later this month to discuss challenges and opportunities for building a collaborative adult brain cancer network.

Representation nationwide

The meeting is jointly organised by VCCC Alliance Research and Education Lead (R&E Lead) Central Nervous System and Brain Cancers, Professor Hui Gan who is Co-Director of the Centre for Research Excellence in Brain Cancer at Austin Health with  ABCARA Co-Directors, Prof Bryan Day, Group Leader of the Sid Faithfull Brain Cancer Lab, QIMR Berghofer and Prof Terry Johns, Head of Perth’s Telethon Kids Cancer Centre. The goal is to unite brain cancer research efforts nationally and internationally.

Professor Gan said, “Australia has many amazing scientists, but the relative rarity of brain cancer has meant that there are few groups that are solely and consistently focused on brain cancer research in Australia.

“We are now reaching critical mass and by bringing together a coalition of researchers we have a better chance of achieving a breakthrough for patients with brain cancer.”

International precedent

The Glioma Longitudinal AnalySiS (GLASS) consortium is a positive example of researchers working together on a global scale. The consortium is using data gained from genomic profiling to build a body of knowledge and sophisticated datasets for researchers.

Tumour recurrence presents substantial challenges for researchers and clinicians. However, recent advances in comprehensive genomic profiling mean that scientists can now identify and map genomic alterations across the primary tumour of all major cancers. This knowledge may lead to understanding why tumours recur and why some patients respond to chosen therapies better than others.

The GLASS consortium intends to generate a longitudinal genomic/molecular dataset representing a large cohort of glioma patents across three specified diffuse glioma genomic subtypes.

Exploration of potential opportunities

These and other opportunities for collaboration will be explored at the ABCARA Virtual Symposium.  Big data and bioinformatics, novel therapeutics, new biomarker strategies and improved clinical trial protocols have the potential to add to the relatively limited options for people diagnosed with brain cancer.  The meeting will also highlight some innovative research currently underway in institutions across the country.

“We have around 100 researchers and clinician scientists already joining the meeting,” said Professor Gan. “We are excited that we have been able to bring together so many people who are engaged in this relatively small area of research.”

The ABCARA Virtual Symposium is Sunday 24 October, 9.00am – 4.30pm. Attendance is free for researchers and clinician scientists with an interest in brain cancer.

Register for the meeting via the COGNO2021 event site. Read more and view program.

single ABCARA 

 ONJ  Telethon Kids  QIMR Berghofer
 VCCC Alliance tagline CMYK 2021    COGNO