A good quality of life and long survival are standard societal expectations of health care, but sadly this is not the norm for patients with brain cancer (glioma). Surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy are current therapies which target cancer cells directly but have shown limited benefit to patients long-term.

There is now increasing recognition that the microenvironment in which a tumour grows is critical and underpins its survival, progression and recurrence. With this firmly in mind, this research fellowship is directed at  understanding the unique microenvironment of gliomas. Unlike tumours in other regions of the body, the glioma microenvironment is isolated by the blood brain barrier, which restricts the movement of cells and factors; supported by neurons and neuroglia not present elsewhere in the body; and has its own dedicated neuro-immune system. The fellowship will determine how, when and why the microenvironment regulates the behaviour of gliomas and how this changes in response to existing treatments and emerging immunotherapies. This information is pertinent to unravelling the ability to harness or manipulate the microenvironment and its inflammatory/ immune response to achieve life-long remission in patients with glioma.

Researchers 

Dr Kelly McKelvey, Dr Viive Howell, Dr Connie Diakos, A/Prof Helen Wheeler, Dr Amanda Hudson

Research Area 
Project type 
Fellowship
Year of funding 
2017