National scheme backs Institute cancer research

National scheme backs Institute cancer research

Illuminate newsletter index page, March 2019
March 2019

Dr Misty Jenkins
Dr Misty Jenkins is developing innovative immunotherapies
for a currently incurable brain cancer.

The Australian Government has announced successful applicants for the Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme which aims to improve outcomes for patients affected by the disease.

Five Institute research projects covering a range of cancers including brain, breast and lung cancers; melanoma; and acute myeloid leukaemia received almost $2 million in grant funding from Cancer Australia, the Leukaemia Foundation of Australia and Cure Cancer Australia.

Harnessing immune cells against brain cancer

Among the Institute scientists to receive support was Dr Misty Jenkins whose laboratory is focussed on designing new immunotherapies, an innovative treatment that redirects a patient’s own immune cells to kill cancer.

Dr Jenkins said she was grateful to receive funding from Cancer Australia for research to find new and improved immunotherapy treatments for childhood brain cancer.

“Our aim is to design novel immunotherapies to specifically kill childhood high grade glioma, without side effects. This approach is offering hope to improve the treatment of brain cancer," Dr Jenkins said.

The funding provided through this scheme is a vital boost for researchers who are working towards developing targeted treatments in the hope of improving the survivorship of patients with cancer.

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Researchers and Health Minister with robotic equipment

The Australian Government has committed to $25 million in funding to enhance drug discovery capabilities at the Institute’s Drug Discovery Centre.