Improved Delivery of Therapy for Brain Cancer

Test Bed Vision:

“To develop a novel platform for treating patients with brain cancer using more targeted and localised treatments”

Brain cancers are currently the highest cause of cancer death in patients under 40. Current treatment paradigms include maximal surgical research followed by radiation therapy and adjuvant chemotherapy but despite technological advances over the past 20 years, median survival for patients with brain cancer is only 14 months.

This test bed will develop a material that can be implanted in the resection cavity of a brain tumour patient to release drugs using a focussed ultrasound pulse that is guided by diagnostic imaging. In parallel, we will develop a smart biomaterial able to sense the extent of the drug effect in the patient and thereby guide further treatment decisions.

The overarching goal will be to deliver localised doses of chemotherapy from the resection cavity using focussed ultrasound to rupture drug-loaded microspheres in hydrogels. The effect of these doses will be monitored using a smart biomolecule that will be designed to respond to apoptotic signals that can be measured with current radiological techniques.

This technology will be applicable for use in all solid tumours, so the clinical and commercial impact will be significant.

This test bed is led by Simon Puttick from the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) together with Stephen Rose from CSIRO’s Health and Biosecurity and Charlotte Williams from CSIRO’s Biomedical Manufacturing. Other participants include Michael Lee (CSIRO Manufacturing).

This research test bed is a collaboration by staff from CSIRO’s Health and Biosecurity and Manufacturing Business Units as well as the University of Queensland’s AIBN.