The Foundation is excited to share a progress update from Professor David Ziegler of Australian and New Zealand Children's Haematology/Oncology Group (ANZCHOG). Prof Ziegler’s research is funded by the Foundation through a 2018 Grant, worth $200,000 and involves using the drug nivolumab, an immune checkpoint inhibitor, to treat childhood brain tumours that have an exceptionally high number of mutations.

This trial has provided an opportunity for Australian children to access an innovative investigational agent as a part of an international trial. While it is too early to determine if nivolumab treatment improves outcomes for paediatric patients with tumours that have a high number of mutations or are resistant to treatment. It is anticipated that the results will provide valuable information about the role of (whereby the immune system is stimulated to attack cancer cells) and guide the development of future clinical trials.

“It has built on our collaboration for the development of novel therapies for children with hypermutated tumours and allowed us to continue research into this subset of brain tumour patients, while exploring more effective therapies,” shared Prof Ziegler.

The Cure Brain Cancer Foundation funding has allowed ANZCHOG to open this clinical trial at three sites in Australia and therefore make this treatment option available to patients with otherwise limited treatment options. It has also helped establish a new collaborative trials network with Canada, allowing Australian children more access to novel, state of the art treatments. This will have an ongoing benefit for children with brain tumours in Australia for many years to come.

“Without the support of funders like The Cure Brain Cancer Foundation these opportunities would not be possible.” – Prof David Ziegler


To find out more about this project or about ANZCHOG visit: