Neuroscience researchers support Brain Cancer Awareness month

YouTube video (3:07min): Brain cancer research - Dr Mastura Monif

Dr Monif's podcast for The Aftershock

This month is Brain Cancer Awareness Month, a time of the year for raising awareness of brain cancer or tumours and the need for greater research to discover safe and effective new treatments.

Brain cancers may be rare, but there are more than 100 different types of brain cancer. This requires a collective effort by lots of researchers, clinicians, patients and their families to understand brain cancers at a molecular level to help find a cure.

Dr Mastura Monif and her research team (pictured) from the Department of Neuroscience within the Central Clinical School study the most common form of primary brain cancer or tumour, called glioblastoma. She said, “We must ensure that every person who develops cancer is given the best possible chance of surviving and living well”.

The aggressive and invasive nature of glioblastoma means that patients diagnosed can expect to live only 9 - 18 months on average after diagnosis, a survival rate that hasn’t changed over the last 20 years.

2022 Teresa's totters photo
2022 Teresa's Trotters

Read more about the progress that Dr Mastura Monif and her research team have made to advance a new treatment for glioblastoma, more effective than the current conventional chemotherapy drug.

Dr Mastura Monif has just featured in The Aftershock’s Podcast as part of Brain Cancer Awareness Month in an episode called "The Researcher" (Listen time, approximately 35 minutes).

The Aftershock is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2017 that aims to advance the scientific and medical research related to the diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of high mortality rate cancers including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukaemia, mesothelioma, bladder, oesophageal, thyroid and brain cancer, to name a few. Every year The Aftershock hold a 6km walk in the community called "Teresa's Trotter's" to raise money for high mortality rate cancer research, this year it was around The Tan in Melbourne (pictured).

The Aftershock has also generously provided a philanthropic grant to Professor Meng Law in the Department of Neuroscience for a research project using machine learning with MRIs from patients with brain cancer to better predict features for diagnosis and classification and also future growth of brain cancer - Read more.

Founder and CEO of The Aftershock, Ms Suzanne Neate, commented, "The Aftershock values the partnership we have with Monash University. It's only when the community, organisations, donors, supporters, clinicians and researchers all come together to raise awareness and research funding - good things can happen."

Alfred Brain Ball photo
L-R: Ms Katrina Kan, Dr Mastura Monif, Prof Helmut Butzkueven, Ms Carrie Keller, Prof Terence O'Brien, Dr Loretta Piccenna, Prof Meng Law, Ms Nadine Udorovic

The Alfred Brain Ball

Members of the Department of Neuroscience also attended the recent inaugural Alfred Brain Ball on Saturday 7 May held at Sophia at The Prahran Arcade. The Alfred Brain Ball raised funding for the Alfred Brain Tumour Bio-databank (a partnership with the Monash University Department of Neuroscience).

The MC for the event was Professor Meng Law with Head of the Central Clinical School, Professor Terence O’Brien, providing a speech on behalf of Associate Professor Martin Hunn who are both principal investigators of the Bio-databank. Professor O'Brien commented, "to facilitate the exciting and promising research that we do, it requires a solid foundation like the bio-databank."

"The brain is a complex, mysterious organ of the human body and is not easily studied at the molecular level as it is contained within membranes and a bony skull. We can overcome this barrier by using donated brain tissue samples, generously provided by patients who undergo surgery to remove their tumours."

About Monash University

Monash University is Australia’s largest university with more than 80,000 students. In the 60 years since its foundation, it has developed a reputation for world-leading high-impact research, quality teaching, and inspiring innovation.

With four campuses in Australia and a presence in Malaysia, China, India, Indonesia and Italy, it is one of the most internationalised Australian universities.

As a leading international medical research university with the largest medical faculty in Australia and integration with leading Australian teaching hospitals, we consistently rank in the top 50 universities worldwide for clinical, pre-clinical and health sciences.

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