New hope for brain cancer

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Australians living with the most common and deadliest form of brain cancer will be given new hope thanks to a patient-focused clinical trial for Australians with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM).

Reportedly, the Morrison Government’s Australian Brain Cancer Mission, in partnership with the Minderoo Foundation and the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation (CBCF), has opened a grant opportunity for researchers to undertake the GBM Adaptive Global Innovative Learning Environment (GBM AGILE) trial for the first time in this country.

This new grant, according to Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, will help Australia’s world-leading researchers to continue to strive for the Mission’s goal to defeat brain cancer.

“New cases of brain cancer are increasing each year and GBM accounts for 45% of all malignant brain tumours,” says Minister Hunt in a statement released today.

“In 2020, 2000 Australians were diagnosed with brain cancer and tragically, less than a quarter will be alive in five years.

“The Australian Brain Cancer Mission aims to turn these statistics around, double survival rates and improve the quality of life of patients with brain cancer.

“This mode of trial will help deliver effective treatments faster for patients, allowing researchers to simultaneously study the effects of multiple unique drugs.”

About GBM AGILE

It’s said that GBM AGILE is a flexible and adaptable trial approach that has several “treatment arms”, giving it the potential to fundamentally change the clinical research process for GBM by identifying or disproving therapies more quickly.

Ultimately, the Mission – funded through the Morrison Government’s Medical Research Future Fund and philanthropic contributions – aims to defeat brain cancer.

CBCF CEO, Lance Kawaguchi, says bringing the GBM AGILE trial to Australia is an important step to finding a cure for one of the most common and deadly forms of brain cancer.

“GBM AGILE will bring world-leading research and innovative treatments to Australian patients. Cure Brain Cancer Foundation is proud to collaborate with the Government and Minderoo on this important initiative,” says Mr Kawaguchi.

“Using a technique called adaptive randomisation, the trial connects patients with therapies that have the greatest chance of treating their cancer. That means if one treatment is working better than another, more new patients will be given that treatment.”

CEO of Minderoo Foundation’s Collaborate Against Cancer initiative, Dr Steve Burnell, says that providing new options to brain cancer patients is a priority for Minderoo, who is a founding member of the Australian Brain Cancer Mission.

“Adaptive platform trials like GBM AGILE can quickly provide multiple treatment options to patients, driving more personalised approaches which is the future of all cancer care,” says Dr Burnell.

“We are proud to join with the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and the Government to bring this exciting new trial to those in Australia suffering from brain cancer.”

Up to $12 million is available over four years from 2021–22. For more information on the grant round, visit: grants.gov.au.