Research Centre Articles and Updates

The AIM BRAIN Project

Through your support, the MHF contributed funding to the AIM BRAIN Project, an initiative of The Robert Conner Dawes Foundation.

Recent advances in technology have shown that the traditional ways of classifying brain tumours were only telling part of the story. Researchers know that there is more powerful information hidden in the genes that reveals several distinct sub-types, each with different disease characteristics and importantly survival outcomes.

This research sought to uncover this hidden information using molecular profiling to gain a better understanding of the individual types of brain tumours in children. Improved tumour classification paints a clearer picture for both patient and doctor to assist in treatment decisions and ultimately improve survival rates.

Incredibly, only a handful of countries have access to this sophisticated molecular profiling, and now, thanks to your kindness and generosity, Australia and New Zealand has joined those ranks.

This special type of profiling known as “methylation profiling” can now be done within Australia for every Australian and New Zealand child diagnosed with brain cancer by the AIM BRAIN project.

This means that doctors could use this information to tailor cancer treatments to best suit individual tumours. This reduces the likelihood of adverse side effects that significantly impact patient quality of life and increases the likelihood of cancer survival.

The results, to date, have been remarkable and have already been presented at national and international brain cancer conferences, broadening the reach across the community.

As stated by ANZCOG, the outcomes of this project now enable "methylation profiling for every Australian and New Zealand child diagnosed with brain cancer to be undertaken within Australia via the AIM BRAIN project. This is a tremendous achievement and puts Australasia at the forefront of brain tumour molecular diagnostics, with only a small number of other countries which have established national programs in this area".

The final step to fully translate these findings into practice relates to accreditation by the National Association of Testing Authorities. Once approved, every child diagnosed with brain cancer in Australia and New Zealand will have access to these advances in DNA/molecular profiling.

Your generous donation has directly led to these exciting developments in brain cancer in children, and initial discussions are underway about expanding the AIM BRAIN project to adults.

Key research like this is only possible thanks to you, our kind-hearted, beanie-wearing community. Every dollar brings us one step closer to finding a cure for brain cancer.