BRAIN TUMOURS

In over 60% of patients with brain tumours, the disease is incurable, with the average life expectancy being less than one year despite the best available treatments.

The brain tumour research group investigates the basic molecular and cellular events that lead to the development of brain cancer to identify potential novel targets for biological therapies. The MBC-RMH Brain Tumour research unit’s clinical and translational research programs involve oncology, trauma, neurophysiology of vision and cerebrovascular disease, particularly subarachnoid hemorrhage. These are undertaken in collaboration with various departments of the the University of Melbourne, RMH and VCCC and international groups including Harvard University, The University of Auckland and The Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

RESEARCHERS

Professor Kate Drummond AM

 

Professor Kate Drummond, AM, MD, FRACS is Director of Neurosurgery at Royal Melbourne Hospital and Head of CNS Tumours at the VCCC Parkville Precinct. She graduated from the University of Sydney in 1988 and trained in Neurosurgery in Sydney and Melbourne. She furthered her training with both clinical and research fellowships in Neuro-oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard University in Boston. She was awarded an MD from the University of Melbourne in 2008.

She has published over 140 peer-reviewed articles and received more than $12 million in research funding. She is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience and immediate past Chief Examiner in Neurosurgery for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. She is Chair of Pangea Global Health Education, a for-impact organisation specialising in health education in low resource settings.  In 2019, she was awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to medicine, particularly in neuro-oncology.

Her research and clinical interests are in the biology and management of brain tumours.

Associate Professor Andrew Morokoff

 

Associate Professor Andrew Morokoff is an academic neurosurgeon at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the University of Melbourne. He completed a PhD in 2004, Neurosurgery training in 2006 and neuro-oncology fellowships at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, and in Paris, France.

Since 2008, he has led the brain tumour and epilepsy laboratory at RMH and has research grants from NHMRC, Brain Foundation Australia and the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation. His research group has been at the international forefront in the fields of brain tumour-associated epilepsy, glioma stem cell biology and novel circulating biomarkers for glioma. He is an investigator on the SWITCH trial of a novel brain-computer interface device, the EpiBios4Rx trial of epilepsy outcomes in traumatic brain injury and the PEGASUS trial of drug treatment for epilepsy in glioma patients. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles, has supervised 12 PhD students and has contributed to 7 book chapters including the first Spanish language textbook on gliomas. He is a regular invited speaker and has received the Watt-Geyer Neuro-Oncology Research Fellowship and the University of Melbourne Research Excellence award.

Professor Mark Rosenthal

 

Professor Mark Rosenthal is a Senior Staff Specialist in the Department of Medical Oncology at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Director of the Parkville Cancer Clinical Trials Unit and Clinical Trials Lead for the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

Professor Rosenthal trained as a Medical Oncologist in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. He was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy for a thesis examining the molecular genetics of colon cancer conducted at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. (1992-1996). He completed post-graduate training at New York University Medical Centre, New York, USA (1996-98) was a Senior Staff Specialist in the Department of Medical Oncology, Royal Melbourne Hospital (1998-2016) and Professor Director of the Department from 2006-2016.  He was Chairman and Chief Medical Officer of Cancer Trials Australia (2006-2016) and was inaugural Chairman of the Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology (2007-2017).

His major interests include: neuro-oncology and early phase clinical trials.

Highlights

 

Joining the International Collaboration on Meningiomas (ICOM), an international collaborative effort to improve treatment and quality of life in these tumours

Multiple studies into the biology and treatment of brain tumours including to develop a “liquid biopsy” using microRNA to diagnose brain tumours and monitor treatment

Completion of the Australian Genomics and Clinic Outcomes or Glioma study recruitment with RMH the second highest recruiter in Australia. Results in 2019.

Development of Phase 0 clinical trial protocol for novel agent

Largest ongoing quality of life study on brain tumours in the world

A prospective study of language impairment and recovery following surgery for brain tumours - NHMRC funded

Clinical advances include the commissioning of the intraoperative MRI scanner - making surgery for our patients even safer

De novo GBM - VERTU - PARP inhibitor in GBM (nearly completed accrual), Nutmeg - immunotherapy agent in GBM (about to have our start up)

Recurrent GBM - AMG596 - first in human BITE EGFRvIII study (2nd patient in the world put on at RMH)

2017-2021 EpiBios4Rx (NIH funded $21M international multi-centre study into epilepsy monitoring in severe neurotrauma. Morokoff (PI) of Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne site.

RESEARCH INSIGHTS

Brain Tumour Research