UK cancer charities join forces to help fund brain cancer research at Monash

UK charities Worldwide Cancer Research and The Brain Tumour Charity have formed a unique partnership and committed £119,000 to fund research on brain cancer at Monash University. The fund will support Dr Lee Wong at the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute to search for weaknesses in brain tumours that could help develop new treatments.

DNA – the vital life molecule that contains the genetic code – exists in the nucleus of cells in tightly wound structures called chromosomes. The way the DNA is wound into chromosomes is precise and mistakes in the process are frequently associated with the onset of cancer. This is particularly true for gliomas, or brain tumours.

Dr Wong and her team at Monash University in Australia have worked out that a tiny alteration to chromosome structure can be used to identify tumour cells from normal cells. Using funding from Worldwide Cancer Research and The Brain Tumour Charity, Dr Wong now wants to investigate exactly how these changes drive tumour growth in conditions such as glioma. This work will ultimately identify weaknesses in these cancers that might be able to be hit with targeted treatments.

Dr Wong said: “I am very pleased to receive this funding. Brain cancer is a devastating disease. My research aims to assist drug development and treatment options by providing knowledge about the fundamental processes which underlie brain tumours.”

Dr Helen Rippon, Chief Executive of Worldwide Cancer Research, said: “Worldwide Cancer Research funds research into any cancer, anywhere in the world. The fantastic partnership we have formed with The Brain Tumour Charity means we have been able to support research that is vital to advance treatments for brain cancer.

“This is the first time both charities have joined forces to help fund cancer research and the combined support means that research projects are able to be completed that might otherwise have been missed.

“I would like to give sincere thanks to The Brain Tumour Charity and to our generous supporters – without this dedication and support, the pioneering projects we fund simply would not happen.”

Sarah Lindsell, Chief Executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “We are delighted to be joining forces with Worldwide Cancer Research to fund projects with real promise for improving brain tumour treatments.

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under 40 than any other type of cancer and reduce life expectancy by 20 years on average - more than any other cancer.

“We are absolutely committed to changing that, through our strategy to double survival and halve the harm caused by brain tumours. Collaboration is key to reaching those goals.”

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About the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Committed to making the discoveries that will relieve the future burden of disease, the newly established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally-renowned research teams. Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery.