Cure Brain Cancer Foundation is pleased to share the insights gained from the completion of Dr Ryan Cross’ 2017 Early Career Fellowship.

Dr Cross from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research investigated the use of the immune system in the fight against brain cancer.

“One of the many reasons brain cancer is difficult to treat is due to the need to balance the killing of cancerous brain cells without killing healthy brain cells in the process. My work aims to exploit the specificity of the immune system to selectively target only diseased cells, while leaving healthy surrounding cells intact.”

“To harness the immune system, I have developed genetic tools that are integrated into immune cells to reprogram them to kill only brain cancer cells,” Dr Cross said.

Throughout the three-year project, Dr Cross developed more than twenty new genetic technologies to target brain cancer in both children and adults. Final findings suggest that two novel applications worked effectively (in animal models) resulting in the brain cancer disappearing.

Additionally, Dr Cross noted that without support of the Fellowship, he would not have met the network of commercial partners, clinicians, and scientific peers he was able to collaborate with to expand his research to a greater level.

The Foundation’s Early Career Fellowship program provides vital support to the next generation of researchers to pursue a career in brain cancer, directly increasing the capacity of research in Australia, which is essential for developing new and innovative treatments for brain cancer.

Foundation CEO, Lance Kawaguchi shared; “Congratulations to Dr Cross and the incredible work he has achieved during the Fellowship. We are incredibly proud to fund this program, which furthers our drive to find a cure for brain cancer. Recently, applications closed for the 2021 round, and we look forward to announcing the successful applicant/s shortly.”

Dr Cross will continue his research and intends to actively explore ways to translate these findings into human clinical trials and implement the first T-cell trial in brain cancer in Australia.