Top brain and breast cancer researchers to join forces in $1m bid to beat both diseases

September 5th, 2018

Thanks to a $1 million grant from Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Australia’s brightest brain and breast cancer researchers will collaborate, leveraging each other’s findings to more rapidly discover breakthroughs and improve survival rates for both cancers faster.

The collaboration will encourage innovation and allow brain cancer researchers to build upon decades of work into breast cancer, which has seen five-year survival of the disease increase from 76% to 90% since 1994. Conversely, five-year brain cancer survival has stagnated at around 20% for more than 30 years, killing more children in Australia than any other disease and more people under 40 than any other cancer. The collaboration will also allow breast cancer researchers to leverage the knowledge of the brain – a common and fatal site for breast cancer metastasis.

With one in eight Australian women diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and brain cancer mortality at unacceptably high levels, the need for this game-changing partnership has never been stronger. Together, leading researchers from both cancers will investigate the connections between primary brain cancer and breast cancer. This will facilitate new, innovative approaches to tackling the diseases, potentially transforming the clinical management of both cancers by delivering meaningful patient outcomes significantly faster.

“We are pleased to take this collaborative approach to brain cancer research with the National Breast Cancer Foundation” said Michelle Stewart, CEO of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation. “This is a new approach to tackle such a challenging area of science and provide opportunity for innovative research solutions that will benefit patients.”

“This collaborative approach continues on from a number of similar research partnerships between NBCF and other cancer types such as ovarian and prostate,” said Sarah Hosking, CEO of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. “Genomics and other molecular advances have revealed commonalities across cancer regardless of the tissue of origin. This partnership will extend the knowledge and benefits of breast cancer research to brain cancer, while in return the knowledge of brain cancer will help address unanswered questions in breast cancer research.”

To assess the grant applicants, Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and the National Breast Cancer Foundation will establish a peer review panel of scientific researchers and clinical experts.

The jointly funded grant ($500,000 from each foundation) will be awarded to new, high-impact research, which spans both primary brain cancer and breast cancer, and seeks to improve survival for people living with both diseases. In addition, projects will be judged on excellence in project design and infrastructure, and must be complemented by an outstanding team of scientists, while demonstrating alignment to the missions of both Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and the National Breast Cancer Foundation.