National brain cancer study

Respected cancer researcher Professor Andrew Scott will lead a national study into improving treatment and outcomes for patients with the most aggressive type of brain cancer.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced Professor Scott, from La Trobe’s School of Cancer Medicine and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, and Austin Health, will receive $1,520,000 over five years from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to run a clinical trial involving patients with high-grade glioma or glioblastoma (GBM).

The MRFF supports Australia’s brightest medical researchers in their fight against rare cancers and rare diseases.

Professor Scott said his multi-centre study would bring together 19 investigators from major hospitals and universities around Australia and will investigate the role of FET-PET imaging technology in the treatment of GBM patients.

“Currently only 25 per cent of patients with GBM are still alive two years after diagnosis and just 10 per cent live for 5 years, despite receiving treatment,” Professor Scott said.

“New imaging techniques that incorporate prognostic information are required to improve patient outcomes by individualising patient care. Our trial will investigate how we can use the FET-PET technology to provide more accurate treatment and improve survival rates.”

La Trobe Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Keith Nugent congratulated Professor Scott.

“La Trobe and ONJCRI are committed to working together to transform the lives of cancer patients. Andrew Scott is a leader in his field and this grant will allow him to lead important research.”

The Health Minister has also announced that Professor Scott will be a member of the Strategic Advisory Group that will support the $100 million Australian Brain Cancer Mission.

The Mission is a partnership between the Federal Government, philanthropists, medical experts, patients and their families. Its aim is to double survival rates for people living with brain cancer over the next 10 years.

Media Contact Anastasia Salamastrakis 0428 195 464 (La Trobe University)

Media Contact Kim Tsai 0411 742 221 (Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute)

About the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute:

The Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute is a leader in the development of experimental and breakthrough cancer treatments. We investigate and develop treatments for cancers of the breast, bowel, lung, melanoma, prostate, liver, gastrointestinal tract and brain. Our researchers and clinicians are running more than 200 clinical trials, giving patients access to potential new treatments including immunotherapies and personalised medicine.