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A recent report published in Genome Medicine, has identified novel drug targets and new generation anti-cancer drugs for medulloblastoma - the most common brain cancer in children.

This study, funded by Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, focused on understanding the genetic makeup of medulloblastoma and uncovering potential drug targets to identify new, targeted treatments for the disease.

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation Early Career Fellow, Dr Laura Genovesi from the Diamantina Institute at The University of Queensland, has mapped the genetics of these aggressive brain tumours to find new pathways that existing drugs could potentially target.

“These are drugs already approved for other diseases or cancers but have never been tested in paediatric brain tumours," shared Dr Genovesi.

"In this study we predicted a drug called Ixabepilone, typically used to treat breast cancer, would block tumour growth and significantly extend the survival rate in mice.”

Dr Genovesi said the mice given the chemotherapy drug had a 'dramatic survival benefit', with some mice showing very little sign of any remaining tumour following treatment.

This study is the result of an international collaboration across various institutes in Australia, Canada and the United States. Prof Brandon Wainwright at The University of Queensland, A/Prof Melissa Davis at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, and Prof Nick Gottardo from the Telethon Kids Institute, are amongst the study authors, and have also received funding support from Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation’s Director, Research and Investments, Stephanie Quattromani said, “This is a great example of the power of collaboration across institutes and international borders. New, targeted therapies for medulloblastoma are urgently needed, and the results of this study form a critical step in making that a reality for children living with this disease”.

CEO Lance Kawaguchi shared, “It is encouraging to see these research outcomes, which we hope will translate into new treatments for young people with brain cancer. I am proud to see the impact of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation's funding in generating results for our community".  

Access the full research study here.

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