Cracking brain cancer's genetic code

Our latest Ethan Davies Fellow, Dr Laura Genovesi, has featured in recent news reporting on a potential breakthrough in medulloblastoma treatment.

 Dr Laura Genovesi, centre, with other researchers from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience.

Dr Laura Genovesi, centre, with other researchers from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience.

 A BREAST cancer drug could be the key to treating the most common form of childhood brain tumour, research has found.
A University of Queensland Institute for Molecular Bioscience study has shown the drug has the “remarkable” effect of rapidly shrinking medulloblastoma, which account for 20 per cent of all childhood brain tumours.
The research, done in collaboration with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in the US and published in the Clinical Cancer Research journal, re-purposed an existing drug, palbociclib, which is an oral treatment for breast cancer.
UQ researcher Laura Genovesi’s genetic code analysis of medulloblastoma led researchers to believe the breast cancer drug may be effective in the treatment of brain tumours.
“We expected that palbociclib would arrest the growth of medulloblastoma, but we were stunned to find that it went a step further and actually shrank the tumours to a size where survival is possible,” she said.
“The finding is remarkable since the tumours were very advanced and were trueated for only a short period of time and we did not use any other therapy such as chemotherapy in combination.”

And here is Dr Genovesi explaining more about the discovery.  

We look forward to welcoming Dr Genovesi to the Telethon Kids Institute as an inbound Ethan Davies Fellow later in the year.

Shannon Davies