Publish Date: 
Thursday, November 23, 2017 - 16:15

Dr Roberta Mazzieri wins funding from the cure brain cancer

Five of Australia’s brightest researchers, including TRI based UQDI researcher Dr Roberta Mazzieri, can now focus solely on curing brain cancer thanks to a million-dollar investment from Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.

This incredible group of researchers has been hand-picked by an international panel of experts, and will dedicate the next two years to conducting potentially life-saving brain cancer research, with the aim of rapidly improving brain cancer survival.

This is Cure Brain Cancer Foundation’s second million-dollar research investment in less than a month, and is part of the organisation’s $20 million commitment to the Australian Brain Cancer Mission – a Government-backed ten-year plan to fund vital research to double brain cancer survival and improve patients’ quality of life. Cure Brain Cancer Foundation’s investment in advocacy and awareness has directly resulted in this government backed, $100 million national plan.

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation CEO Michelle Stewart said, “Brain cancer’s unacceptable survival rate means we must innovate and fund higher risk, big ideas to rapidly improve survival. 

The Project

Dr Mazzieri will receive $100,000 per year for the next two years, which will fund an immunotherapy study to combat glioblastoma, the most common and deadly form of brain cancer. Immunotherapy has previously proved ineffective against glioblastoma for two reasons: the cellular environment within the tumour contains signals that actively suppress the activity of immune cells, and the fact that glioblastoma cells lack signals to make them visible to immune cells.

This project will investigate new and innovative approaches to overcome these obstacles. To combat immune activity suppression, Dr Mazzieri will use genetic engineering technology to reprogram a class of cell to produce a powerful immune response within glioblastoma tumours. To make glioblastoma cells more visible to the immune system, she will apply a technique to kill tumour cells that causes them to release powerful immune-activating signals. These will then be delivered to the patient using new nanotechnologies. 

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