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12
May
2020

‘Mini-brains’ accelerating brain cancer breakthroughs

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation Infrastructure Grant recipient Dr Gomez 

These complex, three-dimensional cultures can be grown for up to a year, allowing researchers to study early stages of human brain cancers that are difficult, if not impossible, using other types of experimental approaches.

The mini-brains are now being used by brain cancer researchers all over Australia, rapidly accelerating the pace of brain cancer research and greatly increasing the potential for better treatments.

 A lab-grown brain organoid

“One of the main things that brain organoids have is the complexity of the brain tissue with a human genetic background. We have developed so many strategies that cure the cancer in mice, but these failed when translated to humans and we hope we can fill a gap in this area. We are using brain organoids to better understand what drives brain cancer invasion to identify new molecular targets suitable to improve personalised therapies in advanced infiltrated brain tumours. Brain organoids fill a gap in brain research related to the generation of in-vitro model systems to better understand brain function. In-vitro models are important, as these allow high-throughput screenings of drugs and genes that are aimed to stop cancer spread and/or contribute to re-establish brain architecture and function.” - Dr Guillermo Gomez, Cure Brain Cancer Foundation Infrastructure Grant recipient

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