Brain Cancer Research at RPA Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Brain Cancer Research
at RPA
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Our Research

Our ResearchOur vision is to create sustainable funding for a brain tumour research program at RPA Hospital. By doing this we can free the scientific minds to focus on the research without the constant battle to compete for funding along with research into all other diseases.

Published research:

  1. New molecular evidence to support retaining the brain tumour subtype "oligoastrocytoma" in the new WHO classification system (PMID: 25304041).

  2. Discovery of new proteins involved in brain tumour invasion (PMID: 25853691).

  3. Molecular profiling of the tiny particles released by brain tumour cells has identified new ways in which brain tumours control their environment (PMID: 23807490).

  4. Insight into the effects of a gene mutation (IDH1) that is common in brain tumours (PMID: 23267435).

  5. Early results from a molecular profiling study that aims to understand how glioblastomas become resistant to bevacizumab (abstract)

Research programs

  1. Understanding how brain cancer cells become resistant to therapy. We are comparing the molecular signatures of brain tumours that are removed before treatment, with the tumours that have grown back after chemotherapy. Identifying the molecular changes that are responsible for brain cancer cells growing resistance to treatment will assist us to find new treatment options.

  2. A gene mutation common to brain cancers, isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) can predict a longer survival and better response to standard therapy, but there's little biological explanation as to why. Our research aims to understand how common gene mutations contribute to the development and growth of brain tumours.

  3. Tweeting" tumours. Brain cancer cells release tiny particles that contain genetic information about the cancer. These particles can affect the normal surrounding brain tissue, communicating the 'cancer program' and changing normal cells to assist the cancer to grow and spread. We have tracked these particles into different normal brain cells and are decoding these molecular messages. By understanding how brain cancers hijack their environment, we can find ways to stop it.

  4. Finding new predictors for patient response to therapy. While no two brain cancers are the same, with more research we can find similarities that can group patients in a clinically meaningful way; predict how quickly a cancer will spread, what treatments will and won't work, as well as monitoring patient responses to treatment. Once tested, these new 'signposts' will help clinicians to tailor treatments to the patient and ensure the best possible outcome.