Cancer charities form research partnership

Luke stewart, who is fighting dipg web

Worldwide Cancer Research and The Brain Tumour Charity are working together on groundbreaking projects

9th January 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

An international partnership has been formed in the fight against brain cancer.

Scottish charity Worldwide Cancer Research has joined with The Brain Tumour Charity to fund two outstanding scientists’ work on brain cancer.

Both charities have committed an equal share to provide £340,000 to fund cancer researchers in Ireland and Australia.

A total of £119,000 has been awarded to Dr Lee Wong at Monash University in Australia to search for weaknesses in brain tumours so that new treatments can be developed. Dr Wong and her team have worked out that a tiny alteration to chromosome structure can be used to identify tumour cells from normal cells and now want to investigate exactly how these changes drive tumour growth in glioma – a type of brain tumour.

A further £218,000 has been awarded to Professor Adrian Bracken at Trinity College Dublin to study a rare but highly aggressive childhood brain cancer, DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma). Professor Bracken is interested in why some patients are resistant to a specific type of treatment and is studying the molecular features of these tumours to work out how to overcome resistance.

Research into rare cancers is far behind in comparison to other types of cancer, meaning that outcomes for patients with rare cancers are often much worse.

Jennifer Stewart from East Lothian, whose eight-year-old son Luke was diagnosed with DIPG in January last year, welcomed the announcement of funding for DIPG research.

She said: “Research and alternative options are essential. There has to be a much-needed cure for DIPG to stop our precious children being stolen from us.

“There has been no progress towards a cure for DIPG for more than 50 years. This has to change. No child should suffer like those who are diagnosed with DIPG.”

Dr Helen Rippon, chief executive of Worldwide Cancer Research, said: “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.”