New trial for children with brain cancer

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt and youth cancer charity CanTeen have awarded $3.2 million in funding to four clinical trials that will give adolescent and young adult cancer patients access to cutting-edge treatment.

One of the four trials will be led by Associate Professor David Ziegler at the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, and run in Australia by the COGNO brain tumour co-operative group. The trial will be an international study that will use a personalised medicine approach to treat medulloblastoma, the most common brain cancer seen in children.

Current treatments for medulloblastoma are effective in 70% of cases, but the harsh therapy often has long-term side effects, including an increased risk of developing diabetes and cognitive impairment.

This trial will aim to exploit a molecular characteristic of the tumour, making the treatment more selective and effective at killing tumour cells - limiting the damage to healthy cells and subsequent side-effects.