News

  • Research Accolades for BCBA Steering Committee Members

    December 2020

    Congratulations to A/Prof Wendy Lipworth and Prof John Simes – both recently recognised for their outstanding contributions to research. Wendy was named Australia’s leading researcher in bioethics in the recent The Australian Special Edition: Research, and John has been listed in the world’s top 2% of most cited researchers in their fields in the flagship life sciences journal – PLOS Biology. BCBA has been fortunate to have benefited from their invaluable support from Day 1 and we look forward to their involvement continuing well into the future.

  • BCBA Welcomes New Chair - A/Prof Lindy Jeffree

    November 2020

    At the recent Consortium Meeting, Prof Michael Besser, BCBA Chair since inception in 2015, formally announced his retirement, handing over the baton to Chair Elect A/Prof Lindy Jeffree with the words,

    Lindy I remember publishing a paper with you exactly 20 years ago! We are very lucky to have such a multi-talented and committed person taking the lead at BCBA. I firmly believe that every organization needs and benefits from change and look forward to watching BCBA continue to develop and grow with you at the helm.”

    Michael was thanked for his incredible dedication to building and expanding BCBA operations over the past 6 years. Happily, he will be continuing his longtime support for BCBA as a Consortium Member and remain as Board Chair of our charity arm, the Brain Cancer Collective.

  • Meet Our Consortium Members

    October 2020

    This month we profile BCBA’s staunch supporter from day 1 - Prof Michael Besser AM – Chair of both the BCBA Consortium and our charity arm, the Brain Cancer Collective. Michael is an emeritus consultant neurosurgeon at RPA and Sydney Children's Hospitals, and a clinical professor at the University of Sydney where he teaches neuroanatomy. He is the former Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at RPA, Chair of the Institute of Clinical Neurosciences and the Neurosurgical Board, President Neurosurgical Society of Australasia and Examiner in Neurosurgery RACS.

    Away from the operating theatre and lecture halls, he's also made a name for himself in the sporting arena, representing Australia at eight triathlon world championships, as well as ironman events. So of course Michael is always first to saddle up for our fundraising Bike Ride for Brain Cancer. He'll be on his bike again next March to raise funds and take part in our 3rd Sydney to Hunter Valley event – proudly wearing the legend jersey he was awarded in 2019 as the oldest rider on the road.

    Michael is a legend both on and off the bike, passionate about improving patient care and finding a curative treatment for brain cancer, he was honoured with the Order of Australia in 2001 for his services to medicine.

  • Working to Provide Previously Unavailable Clinical Data

    September 2020

    The most immediate improvement in survivorship for brain cancer patients will be achieved through optimising the use of currently available treatments. However, in the absence of reliable data on the patterns of treatment and care delivery in Australia, it is impossible to understand how current practice is impacting patient outcomes, and in turn allocate resources in the areas of greatest need.

    BCBA has initiated the Australian Brain Cancer Clinical Registry (ABCR) project with the goal of creating a national collection of key data to facilitate data-driven improvements in brain cancer care and survivorship.

    A/Prof Lindy Jeffree (pictured) leads a multi-institutional working group currently undertaking the extensive process of identifying (through scientific literature review) and refining (through workshops) the clinical indicators that will benchmark the collection of data to measure the quality of care across the entire trajectory of the brain cancer patient journey.

    This month the group will commence a Delphi process (survey/feedback) to gain expert consensus on the final set of clinical indicators. Digital questionnaires will be sent to medical professionals, patients and carers. We look forward to your involvement with the Delphi process, which will take us another step closer to developing this important national database.

  • A Big Thank You to Commbank Staff Foundation

    August 2020

    BCBA’s fundraising arm, the Brain Cancer Collective (BCC), has been awarded two $10,000 CommBank Staff Foundation Community Grants to progress BCBA’s latest projects – a National Brain Cancer Clinical Registry and Virtual Care Coordination Platform. 

    “This $20,000 boost to our charity’s bottom line is certainly very much appreciated in the current fundraising climate and we’re very grateful to CBA for all their support” said BCC Founding Director, Robyn Leonard. 

    BCC was nominated by CBA staff members, Rochelle Eldridge and Mark Leach, who provide financial and strategy planning advice to BCBA through CBA’s pro bono program, and Robynne Perry, who is actively involved in our annual Bike Ride for Brain Cancer and other fundraising activities.

  • Gaining insights into glioblastoma using cell lines

    July 2020

    Cell lines created from patient-derived glioblastoma (GBM) tumour tissue are a critical resource for researchers seeking to understand the complex biology and aggressive mechanisms driving this most malignant of brain cancers.

    BCBA member biobank, the QIMR Berghofer/RBWH Brain Cancer and Cell Culture Bank, is at the forefront in the creation of these cell lines which are enabling ground breaking studies, such as the seminal work of Prof Bryan Day and his team at the Sid Faithfull Laboratory, recently published in the journal Acta Neuropathologica. The researchers used the cell lines to identify and define the role of an aggressive driver of GBM growth - the cell receptor, Dystroglycan. The team is now working to develop therapeutic antibodies to target and block the action of this deadly cell receptor.

    Read more about this research in Acta Neuropathologica

  • Tax Time Appeal

    June 2020

    BCBA's fundraising arm - the Brain Cancer Collective - has launched an Appeal to raise funds to prioritise the development of our Virtual Care Coordination Platform project.

    Having a care coordinator to assess needs, make appropriate referrals, provide clinical advice and other support, is not only helpful, but crucial to providing the high quality care that enhances patient quality of life and improves survival rates. Make a tax time donation to help us connect brain cancer patients and their carers to the resources and expert clinical advice they need, regardless of where they live or what their circumstances.

  • Australasian Biospecimen Network Association features BCBA

    June 2020

    The Australasian Biospecimen Network Association (ABNA) is the incorporated body for professional biobankers. The association is focused on supporting and promoting best practice biobanking in Australia and New Zealand. BCBA was honoured to be featured in the ABNA’s latest newsletter showcasing brain cancer biobanking activities across Australasia. We thank the ABNA for this opportunity to highlight the operations and innovative projects of BCBA - Australia’s first biobanking consortium .

    Please click here to read the article.

  • Brain Cancer Awareness Month

    May 2020

    This month we feature Ross Bowles – a 60yr old brain cancer survivor, Australian Masters cycling champion and one of BCBA’s greatest supporters.

    Cycling has been Ross’s great strength as he deals with the after effects of his diagnosis and treatment, but his most recent exploit – a gruelling 17hr ride to the height of Mt Everest - was nothing short of incredible.

    Meet Ross as he talks about brain cancer and his fundraising Everest challenge or donate here.

  • COVID-19 Information and Guidelines

    April 2020

    In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic Cancer Australia has launched a dedicated hub to provide health professionals and researchers with up-to-date, evidence-based resources and guidance from Australian and international organisations. 

    Interim guidelines for the handling and processing of biospecimens associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 have been released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA).  

  • Bike Ride for Brain Cancer - Postponed to March 2021

    March 2020

    The 2020 Bike Ride for Brain Cancer has been postponed until 19 - 20 March 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We are very grateful to our sponsors, riders and donors for maintaining their support and wish everyone well.

  • Boosting Brain Tumour Biobanking in Victoria

    March 2020

    The recently established Alfred Brain Tumour Bio-databank is off and running with their donor recruitment. A total of 75 patients have been consented to donate tissue since June 2019, with 45 samples and associated high-quality clinical information already in the bio-databank. These tissue and data donations from patients are an incredibly valuable contribution to improving our understanding of brain tumours. This type of collaboration between clinicians, researchers and patients is what is needed to improve precision in diagnosis and treatment of brain cancer.

    We welcome The Alfred Brain Tumour Bio-databank to the BCBA network!

  • Registrations for the 3rd Bike Ride for Brain Cancer now closed!

    February 2020

    Our 2020 event will see over 50 cyclists taking on the 2 day 240km ride from Sydney to the Hunter Valley, including one of our own, COGNO Clinical Research Fellow, Ben Kong. Ben will be riding alongside other clinicians, family and friends of brain cancer patients, as well as a number of brave individuals who are living with the disease. We hope that you will get behind their efforts by visiting our ride website and supporting a rider or making a donation.

  • Bike Ride for Brain Cancer Registrations Closing Soon!

    January 2020

    BCBA's fundraising arm, the Brain Cancer Collective, will hold the annual 2 day 240km Bike Ride for Brain Cancer on 3rd - 4th April this year. Join our ambassadors Mike Tomalaris – SBS Sport and  Niav Owens – ABC Grandstand on this boutique ride from Sydney to the Hunter Valley. Invite your family and friends to be part of the fun at the finish line long lunch at Calais Estate Winery.

    Places are filling fast so get in now.

    For more information and to register visit www.bikerideforbraincancer.com.au

  • Thank you and Christmas Greetings from BCBA

    December 2019

    As 2019 draws to a close and BCBA notches up 5 years in operation, we would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to our amazing collaborators and incredibly generous supporters. We look forward to continuing our journey on the road to a cure with you in 2020.

    Very best wishes to all for a Happy Christmas.

  • BCBA's Registry Project wins best poster award at COGNO!

    November 2019

    A/Prof Lindy Jeffree, Clinical Lead on the BCBA National Paediatric and Adult Brain Cancer Clinical Registry project, was presented with Best Poster Award by COGNO Chair, Prof Anna Nowak, at the recent Annual Scientific Meeting of the brain cancer clinical trials group in Sydney.

    Congratulations to Lindy for her presentation which was based on the very comprehensive Brain Cancer Clinical Registry Feasibility Study instigated by BCBA Founder/Director, Robyn Leonard and developed for BCBA by Health Informatics consultant, Dr Eric Browne. The project was supported by a 2018 grant from Roche Australia.

  • BCBA Minimum Datasets Published in Neuro-Oncology Practice

    October 2019

    The BCBA Minimum Dataset Working Group is proud to have the Clinical Annotation Datasets for Brain Cancer Biobanking manuscript published in the September edition of the Society for Neuro-Oncology journal – Neuro-Oncology Practice. The annotation of biospecimens with clinical data is an important part of biobanking. The working group, in collaboration with BCBA's multi-disciplinary consortium members, developed the recommended brain cancer minimum datasets to guide the integration of data from multiple existing biobanks for research studies and for planning prospective brain cancer biobanking activities.

    For more information click here

  • 2020 Bike Ride for Brain Cancer – Early Bird Rates!

    September 2019

    BCBA’s fundraising arm, the Brain Cancer Collective, will hold the annual 2 day 240km Bike Ride for Brain Cancer on 3rd and 4th April in 2020. The boutique ride takes a scenic route from Sydney to the Hunter Valley and finishes with a long lunch in the beautiful grounds of Calais Estate Winery. We hope that you will join us on the road and support our efforts to advance brain cancer research.

    Register now and receive our early bird rate.

  • MHF Brain Bank Fulfilling the Wishes of Brain Cancer Patients

    August 2019

    The team at the Mark Hughes Foundation (MHF) Brain Bank, located at the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), have responded to brain cancer patients wishing to donate their brains for research by establishing Australia’s first rapid post-mortem adult brain cancer biobank. The precious tumour tissue, collected within 12hrs after death, has the potential to provide researchers with a better understanding of the evolution of brain cancer - how these deadly tumours are able to adapt and evade all current treatments.

    For more information click here

  • Funding Boost for BCBA National Clinical Registry Project

    July 2019

    BCBA is delighted to have been selected as one of the 32 successful grant recipients in the recent Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) call for applications under their 'Transformative data' program. The $50,000 grant will support BCBA's multi-disciplinary working group, under the leadership of A/Prof Lindy Jeffree (pictured), to advance the National Paediatric & Adult Brain Cancer Clinical Registry Project.

    The proposed registry will capture data that will not only provide an understanding of brain cancer incidence, treatment patterns and outcomes across Australia, but also assist researchers with clinical information and facilitate registry clinical trials.

  • Examining the Development of Mouse Models for Paediatric Brain Cancer

    June 2019

    BCBA member biobank, Children’s Cancer Centre Tissue Bank in Melbourne, was involved in a multi-centre study using patient derived tissue samples to examine the development of laboratory and mouse models for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) - a high grade glioma in children. These models mimic the characteristics of the original tumour making them valuable tools for research. This study provides further insight into the factors underlying the successful creation of DIPG tumour models - the sadly lacking but much-needed vehicles to facilitate research into new treatments for this aggressive paediatric brain tumour.

    “We are proud to be part of collaborations such as this where tissue samples from biobanks around the world are pooled to get the significant number of samples needed to undertake this important research” said Dr Louise Ludlow, Children’s Cancer Centre Tissue Bank Manager.

    Read the abstract

  • BCBA’s Virtual Network is Expanding

    May 2019

    Following the establishment of a Brain Tumour Collaborative Working Group at Monash University, the Monash Children’s Cancer Biobank has become part of the BCBA network and we are looking forward to welcoming all brain tumour biobanks at the Monash Medical Centre and Alfred Hospital to our network as they begin their operations.

    Collaboration is key to advancing brain cancer research and BCBA would like to thank Prof Terry O’Brien, Chair of the Monash University Brain Tumour Collaborative Working Group, for leading this exciting initiative.

  • Thank you to the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation

    April 2019

    BCBA has been generously supported by a $25,000 grant from the Robert Connor Dawes (RCD) Foundation to support its operations.

    This is the third year we have received this generous contribution and we are grateful for the continued support of the RCD Foundation, which honours the memory of Robert Connor Dawes, who lost his life to ependymoma at the age of 18.  

    Read more about the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation

  • BCBA’s Bike Ride for Brain Cancer a Fundraising Success

    March 2019

    BCBA has once again been supported by an incredible community of riders, sponsors and donors getting behind its two-day bike riding event. This year 48 riders took on the 240km challenge, raising $185,000 (and counting!) to support BCBA in advancing brain cancer research.

    The 2019 event also featured a finishing line long luncheon at Calais Estate Winery, welcome relief for riders who endured 41 degree heat on their 100km final day journey.

    A big thank you to all who contributed to the success of the event and ultimately supporting BCBA on the road to a cure.

    WATCH VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

  • Neurosurgeons take on the Bike Ride for Brain Cancer

    February 2019

    BCBA is proud to welcome three neurosurgeons to our 240km Bike Ride for Brain Cancer next month. Our BCBA Chair, Professor Michael Besser,  will be joined by his former senior registrar and current neurosurgical director of Gammaknife Surgery at Macquarie, Dr John Fuller and Professor Marcus Stoodley who is head of neurosurgery at Macquarie University Hospital. The three neurosurgeons are no strangers to a physical challenge; Stoodley is a keen cyclist, Besser is a veteran masters ironman and triathlete, and this year Fuller has qualified for entry into the L'Etape Championship in France held on one of the Tour de France stages.
    We're thrilled to have the support of busy clinicians, raising money for BCBA! Support their efforts, make a donation:
    Professor Michael Besser
    Dr John Fuller
    Professor Marcus Stoodley

  • Thank you to the Isabella and Marcus Foundation

    January 2019

    Isabella and Marcus, who lost their young lives to brain cancer, are the namesakes of the Foundation that has been a generous supporter of BCBA and its operations. This is the third year we have received a valuable $25,000 funding grant and we are very grateful to the Directors for their continued support. The Isabella and Marcus Foundation works with researchers in Australia to develop treatments for children with brain cancer.

    Read more about the Isabella and Marcus Foundation.

  • BCBA Founder named a 2018 AMP Tomorrow Maker

    January 2019

    We are delighted to announce BCBA Founder and Director Robyn Leonard has been named a 2018 AMP Foundation Tomorrow Fund recipient. Robyn was recognised for the creation of BCBA and its pioneering role in accelerating brain cancer research.
    “It’s wonderful to have BCBA recognised and supported to continue breaking new ground,” said Robyn.
    AMP’s Tomorrow Fund supports talented and innovative Australians across a diverse range of fields with grants.
     

  • Season’s Greetings

    December 2018

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at BCBA.

    Thank you to all our supporters - we’ve enjoyed some fantastic successes in 2018 and look forward to sharing another productive year in 2019.

    We’d love to see you in the Hunter Valley at the Bike Ride for Brain Cancer in March - as a rider, or at our finish line winery long luncheon at Calais Estate. 

    Happy holidays!


  • Introducing the Brain Cancer Collective

    November 2018

    Building on the incredible success of our inaugural Bike Ride for Brain Cancer, we're launching the Brain Cancer Collective, the charity arm of BCBA, with the exclusive mission to raise funds to support new projects and initiatives that will accelerate brain cancer research in Australia.

    Learn how it all fits together in this short animation:

  • Big move for BCBA member biobank will enhance child brain tumour research

    October 2018

    The Telethon Kids Institute - and home to the Brain Tumour Research Biobank Program - has recently relocated to a new state of the art research facility within the Perth Children’s Hospital.  The exciting move presented no shortage of challenges, including physically transporting precious biobank specimens in specialist trucks five kilometres across town.

    We asked the Brain Tumour Research team about the process and how they are enjoying their new home.

    Read the Q & A  here

  • Samples from BCBA member biobank contribute to breakthrough international research

    September 2018

    BCBA network member biobank, Queensland Children’s Tumour Bank (QCTB), contributed to a landmark paper recently published in Nature Medicine showing that paediatric glioblastoma (pGBM) and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) are made of different cancerous cells that work together to invade the brain. This research offers clues on how to treat these aggressive childhood brain cancers, and highlights the importance of coordinated post-mortem brain tumour donations,

    “This novel research led by our collaborator, Professor Chris Jones at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, sheds new light on how small numbers of cells within these tumours play an important role in the behaviour of the overall tumour.” said Andrew Moore, QCTB Director and BCBA Steering Group member (pictured).

    “Breakthrough research like this is only possible by researchers having access to significant numbers of patient samples. When samples are rare, researchers often need to pool samples from biobanks around the world. This has certainly been the case for inoperable and incurable brain cancers such as DIPG. The Queensland Children’s Tumour Bank has been a key collaborator of Professor Jones’ for a number of years and contributed important samples for this study.”

    Read the abstract

  • New Biospecimen Search and Application Portal – now live!

    August 2018

    We are excited to announce the launch of a dynamic one-stop shop for researchers to search and apply for clinical samples across the entire BCBA network. The new online system will simplify the search for clinical samples and allow researchers to submit one application electronically to all member biobanks.

    The interactive register captures all brain cancer biospecimens available across the national BCBA network and has the capacity for individual biobank members to regularly access the database and update their biospecimen collection information. The new system is a significant step forward in BCBA’s efforts to assist researchers to advance treatments and outcomes for brain cancer patients.

    The project was supported by the Mark Hughes Foundation and Research Data Services.

  • BCBA Network Member Triples Collection Rate

    July 2018

    The South Australian Neurological Tumour Bank is set to triple its tumour collection rate through a new partnership with the Royal Adelaide Hospital. The tumour bank will soon receive neurological tumour tissue from the hospital, adding to the Flinders Medical Centre collection.

    “We currently have approximately 180 brain and spinal cord tumour specimens” explains tumour bank coordinator Dr Rebecca Ormsby, “but this new link provides us a fantastic opportunities to expand the available resources for researchers”.

    The tumour bank has also received a grant from the Neurosurgical Research Foundation to set up a comprehensive specimen and clinical information database for the tumour and blood specimens collected.

    For more information contact Dr Rebecca Ormsby: SANTB@flinders.edu.au

  • Australian Government Earmarks Biobanking Scoping Study

    June 2018

    Biobanking has been recognised as an area of focus as part of the Federal Government $1.9 billion expenditure to support Australia’s national research infrastructure over the next 12 years. Funding has been earmarked for a scoping study to determine the investments needed to maximise the broad range of biobanking activities across Australia. BCBA submitted to the development of the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap and hopes to be involved during the course of the biobanking scoping study.

    Read the Government Response to the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap Research Infrastructure Investment Plan here.

  • The Kolling Institute Neurological Tumour Bank - An Invaluable Resource for Brain Cancer Research

    May 2018

    The rare nature of brain cancer subtypes means that it can take many years to accumulate sufficient specimens for meaningful research. This month we highlight the contribution of the brain tumour bank at the Kolling Institute in Sydney. Established in 2003, the collection is now the largest in the BCBA Network and having recently completed a specimen audit it is probably also the most up to date. Under the direction of A/Prof Viive Howell, tissues collected and archived from donors at the Royal North Shore and North Shore Private Hospitals for over 15 years are making an invaluable contribution to both local and international research into many brain cancer subtypes. 

    For information on recent landmark studies and further information on the Kolling Institute Brain Tumour Bank click here

  • First Australian Brain Cancer Mission Strategic Advisory Group Meeting

    April 2018

    The first meeting of the Australian Brain Cancer Mission Strategic Advisory Group was hosted by the Federal Government agency, Cancer Australia, in Sydney on 3rd/4th April 2018. BCBA consortium members Anna Nowak, Lindy Jeffree, Mark Rosenthal and Robyn Leonard are members of the Strategic Advisory Group. The Group was established to provide strategic advice and guidance to support the $100 million Australian Brain Cancer Mission in achieving its objective of doubling the survival rates and improving the quality of life of patients with brain cancer over the next 10 years. 

    For more information on The Mission click here

  • BCBA’s Inaugural Bike Ride for Brain Cancer a Huge Success!

    March 2018

    $175,000 and counting - what an incredible fundraising result! To our sponsors, riders, donors and everyone involved in making this event such a resounding success, BCBA says thank you. These funds will assist us in our continuing effort to facilitate researcher access to the tissue and data that is vital to advancing brain cancer research and ultimately defeating this deadly disease. Let’s do it again! Register your interest for our next ride in 2019!

  • Thank you to SBS Cycling Central

    February 2018

    As we head into the final, very busy weeks before the launch of our Bike Ride for Brain Cancer, BCBA would like to acknowledge the support of SBS Cycling Central in promoting the event. Currently posted on their website are two videos highlighting BCBA and the ride. The first features cyclist and brain cancer survivor, Ross Bowles and the second backgrounds BCBA - the cause behind the ride.

  • Sponsors hit the road to support BCBA’s Bike Ride for Brain Cancer

    January 2018

    Perth based Resource Capital Funds CEO and BCBA Bike Ride sponsor, James McClements and his wife Meredith are clocking up regular 100km training rides in preparation for their trip to Sydney to join fellow cyclists on our 2 day/250km cycling challenge. We thank them and our other sponsors, Champion Iron, EHR and Riversdale Resources for their amazing support and recognition of the importance of research infrastructure such as BCBA in advancing brain cancer research.

    If you would like to join us on the road or just learn more please visit our fundraising website.

  • Season’s Greetings

    December 2017

    With very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year we sign off  2017 with an ABC TV Weekend Breakfast interview with BCBA Chair, Prof Michael Besser and Founder, Robyn Leonard and hope you will join us in 2018 on BCBA’s Bike Ride for Brain Cancer.

  • Bike Ride For Brain Cancer – BCBA Launches New Fundraising Website

    December 2017

    We are very excited to announce that rider registrations are now open on our new fundraising website bikerideforbraincancer.com.au The 2 day Ride from Sydney to the Hunter Valley will take place 9 – 10 March 2018. Places are limited so register now!

    We plan to make it a weekend of fun for all the family and there will be many ways for non-cyclists to get involved. Make sure you stay in touch through our Facebook page @BCBAustralia as we provide updates on activities, as well as information such as booking accommodation for the Hunter Valley.

    To register click here

    For information regarding sponsorship click here

  • A Lack of Tissue Samples has hampered Medical Research into Childhood Brain Cancer

    November 2017

    A/Prof David Ziegler, paediatric oncologist and leading researcher, has highlighted the problem of the lack of tissue samples for paediatric brain cancer research in his recent article for The Conversation – We made great strides with childhood leukaemia – We can do the same for brain cancer. Dr Zeigler is a member of the BCBA multi-disciplinary working party developing a project to obtain brain tumour tissue from children and adults soon after death. These rare tumour samples will play a crucial role in research aimed at identifying the underlying genomic processes that drive brain cancer.

  • BCBA in the News

    October 2017

    Newspaper journalist, Jane Hansen, has been running a campaign to push for awareness and funding for brain cancer research. The background story to BCBA’s effort to network and harmonise Australia’s fragmented paediatric and adult brain cancer biobanking operations became her focus in a recent article in the Sunday Telegraph.

    To read the news item click here

  • Report from the Global Biobank Week Conference

    October 2017

    This meeting held recently in Stockholm provides a global platform for comprehensive discussion and collaboration on activities important for biobanking. BCBA Steering Committee member, Professor Jenny Byrne,  attended and reports that the opening address by Gregory Simon, President of the Biden Cancer Initiative, was inspirational and had attendees talking for days afterwards. However, it was Edward Dove’s presentation on international ethics review equivalency that provided her conference highlight. You can learn more about this important work here.

    As for future meetings, Prof Byrne would like to see more discussion around how biobanks support research. In her words “We need to measure and compare biobank outputs more effectively and in more detail, so that we can improve how biobanks support research”.

  • Ongoing Support from the Isabella and Marcus Paediatric Brainstem Tumour Fund

    September 2017

    The Directors of the Isabella and Marcus Brainstem Tumour Fund, Khushwant and Rob De Rose and Daniella and Anthony Ruberto have followed up their 2016 grant to BCBA with another $25,000 donation in 2017. This vote of confidence in BCBA and its operations is extremely valuable and we are all grateful to be the recipients of such generous and continued support from the Directors of this fund that was established to honour the memory of their children Isabella and Marcus.

  • The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Tumour Bank - Collecting Rare Brain Tumour Tissue for 20 years

    August 2017

    This month we highlight the work of BCBA network member, the CHW Tumour Bank. Established in 1998, almost two decades of collecting rare brain tumour tissue is providing important sample contributions to significant paediatric brain cancer research such as this Canadian study into rare Atypical Rhabdoid Teratoid tumours published in Cancer Cell – emphasising why collecting rare tumours over time is vital to future understanding.

    A/Prof Dan Catchpoole, who has been Head of the CHW Tumour Bank since 2001, has also recently taken on the role of ISBER Director at Large for the Indo-Pacific Rim with responsibility for supporting and growing biobanking in the entire region. Congratulations Dan from all at BCBA.

  • The Queensland Brain Tumour Bank – Brainchild of Neurosurgeon Dr Sarah Olson

    July 2017

    “We are on the cusp of personalised medicine for brain cancer patients which will only occur with the support provided by tissue banks.” 

    These are the words of Dr Sarah Olson, whose initiative and hard work in combination with the biobanking expertise of Emma Raymond has created Queensland’s first centralised repository of brain tumour tissue. The samples collected from donors in both public and private hospitals across SE Qld are now available to researchers with ethically approved projects. QBTB is yet another in the BCBA national network of biobanks dedicated to enabling and accelerating the search for better treatments and outcomes for brain cancer patients.

    For more information visit: http://www.wesleyresearch.org.au/research/neuro/braintumourbank/

  • ISBER Symposium – To Tell or Not to Tell

    June 2017

    The return of research results and incidental findings is a hot topic worldwide in biobanking circles. BCBA’s Robyn Leonard joined pancreatic cancer researcher, Amber Johns and Australasian Biospecimen Network Association Chair, Catherine Kennedy to make up the Australian contingent on an international panel discussing this vexed issue at the recent International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) conference in Toronto, Canada. BCBA will focus on developing tools to assist its member biobanks with this issue.

  • RPAH Neuropathology Tumour and Tissue Bank – Facilitating Whole Brain Donation

    May 2017

    Whole brain tissue donated by brain cancer patients after death is one of the most valuable resources in the advancement of brain cancer research. The RPAH Neuropathology Tumour and Tissue Bank, under the direction of Dr Kimberley Kaufman and Clinical Associate Professor Michael Buckland, is one of only three sites across the BCBA national network that is set up to accept these precious gifts. The RPA Neuropathology team, alongside other qualified research teams, use the tissue to help understand the biological mechanisms involved in brain tumour progression and treatment resistance, with the ultimate goal of better outcomes and management options for patients diagnosed with brain cancer.

    For RPAH Neuropathology Tumour and Tissue Bank contact details visit our Donate Tissue page.

  • Qld Children’s Tumour Bank - Contributing to Global Paediatric Brain Cancer Research

    April 2017

    2016 was a productive year in terms of global collaboration for BCBA network member the Qld Children’s Tumour Bank (QCTB). Director, Paediatric Oncologist Dr Andrew Moore and his team have made substantial contributions of samples and data to research efforts across the globe, highlighting how collaborative biobanking can result in large sample sets that facilitate real breakthroughs in research.

    For brain cancer research publications supported by QCTB’s contributions in 2016 click here

    For more information about QCTB visit: https://child-health-research.centre.uq.edu.au/about/services-and-facilities/queensland-children%E2%80%99s-tumour-bank

  • Robert Connor Dawes Foundation Funding and Travel Grants

    March 2017

    This year BCBA is the grateful beneficiary of two grants from the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation. The first, a valuable $25,000 to support BCBA’s Project Coordinator position. The second, a $4,500 travel grant to support the attendance of BCBA Founder, Robyn Leonard, at the upcoming International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) Conference in Toronto. Robyn has been invited to take part in the Symposium: ‘To Tell or Not to Tell’- The Practical Aspects of Returning Research Results and Incidental Findings to Biobank Participants. For more information on the ISBER Conference see Events section below.

    For more information on the RCD Foundation visit:
    http://rcdfoundation.org/

  • Introducing AGOG EPI – Australia’s Largest Ever Glioma Study

    February 2017

    We begin our monthly news item series on the BCBA biobanking network with the AGOG Epidemiology Study collection. Under the direction of A/Prof Claire Vajdic, Head of Cancer Epidemiology Research Unit, Centre for Big Data Research in Health, UNSW, the study is matching glioma brain tumour patients with an unaffected close family relative to better understand the genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors causing brain cancer. Currently this study has recruited an amazing patient/sibling cohort of 600 with blood and data already collected and stored from 400 of those participants. This remarkable resource, listed on the BCBA Researchers page, is open and available to researchers with approved projects.

    For more information visit: http://agog.org.au/

  • Federal Government Recognition for National Biobank Networking

    January 2017

    Networked biobanking has been identified as one of 4 priorities to advance Complex Biology in the recently released Draft 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap. The Roadmap sets out Australia’s national research infrastructure priority areas for the coming decade. BCBA provided a submission in response to the earlier National Research Infrastructure Capabilities Issues Paper (see link below) and was encouraged to see this significant outcome given the breadth of the Complex Biology portfolio.

     

    The Draft 2016 Roadmap is available for download at: https://docs.education.gov.au/node/42216 
    Relevant pages 55–59. Summary of all priorities page 64.


    For BCBA submission go to: https://submissions.education.gov.au/Forms/National-Research-Infrastructure-Capability-Issues-Paper-Submissions/Pages/index?t=o&srl=%2FForms%2FNational-Research-Infrastructure-Capability-Issues-Paper-Submissions&k=brain+cancer+biobanking+Australia

  • Season's Greetings

    December 2016

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at BCBA.


  • Update on the US Cancer Moonshot Project

    October 2016

    The Blue Ribbon Panel, established to provide a research blueprint for the Cancer Moonshot project, recently delivered a report that includes their 10 recommendations for expediting progress in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment over the next 5 years.

    For more information visit:                                                     https://www.cancer.gov/research/key-initiatives/moonshot-cancer-initiative/blue-ribbon-panel

  • Annual BCBA Consortium Meeting

    September 2016

    The BCBA Consortium Group meeting held in Sydney in conjunction with the ASNO/COGNO Conference was once again a very well attended and productive event. Thank you to our guest speaker, international expert in brain cancer research, Prof Timothy Cloughesy, Director UCLA Neuro-Oncology Program. The data collection at UCLA will be our inspiration as BCBA works to provide clinical data collection guidelines for our network of brain cancer biobanks. 

  • Mark Hughes Foundation Grant Success!

    September 2016

    BCBA has received a $74,500 grant from the Mark Hughes Foundation to further our efforts in providing researchers both nationally and internationally with the resources they need to advance brain cancer research. This grant will assist BCBA to continue the development of our recently established national brain cancer biospecimen register as we work towards creating the largest centralised registry of brain cancer tissue and data in the world.

  • BCBA registers for NSW Health Pathology Biobank Certification Program

    July 2016

    The NSW Biobank Certification Program aims to improve and harmonise biobanking standards through education and communication of best practices and Standard Operating Procedures. BCBA has registered for this NSW program as a virtual biobank hub and will proceed with certification when it becomes available in Spring 2016. Our member biobanks in NSW are encouraged to register separately.

    Member biobanks outside NSW are encouraged to express interest in the program by emailing nsw@biobanking.org and to register once the NSW pilot phase of the program is completed and the full program is rolled out nationally.

    For more information and to register please visit the official website http://nsw.biobanking.org/

  • Thank you to the Isabella and Marcus Paediatric Brainstem Tumour Fund

    June 2016

    We would like to introduce our latest supporters Khushwant and Rob De Rose and Daniella and Anthony Ruberto -Directors of the Isabella and Marcus Brainstem Tumour Fund. BCBA is very grateful not only for their $25,000 donation, but their wish to provide ongoing support for the work of the BCBA consortium in both the paediatric and adult field of brain cancer research.

  • HP PPS (Hewlett-Packard) Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea

    June 2016

    Thank you to the wonderful bakers and willing buyers at HP PPS Australia who raised almost $400 for BCBA at their recent morning tea event. Thank you also to Andrew Larke for putting our brain cancer research initiative on the HP PPS Australia radar and Thao Le.. not only for organising but baking as well!

  • ISBER 2016 – Our Q & A Update

    May 2016

    BCBA Steering Committee member, Jennifer Byrne – Head Children’s Cancer Research Unit, Westmead – made the trip to Berlin in April to attend the annual meeting of the International Society of Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) and has agreed to answer a few questions about what’s happening with biobanking on the international stage. 

    Click here to read more

  • Cancer Council NSW Continues Their Support

    May 2016

    BCBA continues to receive the support of Cancer Council NSW -  the largest non-government funder of cancer research in Australia. In 2015 Cancer Council NSW was one of the initial seed funders of the BCBA initiative. Now this year they have provided a further $25,000 in funding. We want to thank Cancer Council NSW for their ongoing support and interest in our collaborative effort to provide researchers with the high quality tissue and data they need to advance brain cancer research.

  • More Donations In Lieu of Gifts

    March 2016

    Thank you Michael Leonard, who in lieu of gifts asked family and friends attending his 40th birthday lunch to donate to BCBA in memory of his sister, Lucie. Thank you to everyone who responded so generously to Michael’s request, your donations have raised $2035 to support the efforts of BCBA to advance brain cancer research. 

  • Friends Catch Up And Raise Funds

    March 2016

    Thank you to the wonderful group of young people who raised $5,770 for BCBA at their annual get together in memory of a friend who died from brain cancer. Thanks particularly to Liam O’Keeffe, owner of the Welcome Hotel in Sydney’s inner west; Katrina Bradley from Calais Estate Winery, Hunter Valley...

    and Andrew Larke, auctioneer extraordinaire! A big thank you from all at BCBA for your marvellous support.


  • Thank You Robert Connor Dawes Foundation

    February 2016

    Liz and Scott Dawes are the Directors of the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation and BCBA is delighted with their recent commitment of $25,000 to support the work of our consortium. Liz and Scott created the Foundation in 2013 following the loss their son Connor to brain cancer. Our collaborative effort to advance research in both the paediatric and adult brain cancer field has attracted the interest of the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them.

  • BCBA Presentation 2015 ABNA Conference

    October 2015

    The 2015 Australian Biospecimen Network Association (ABNA) conference was held in Coogee in Sydney. BCBA poster was selected for a rapid fire presentation. This was presented by BCBA project coordinator, Dr Mythily Mariasegaram.

  • Donations In Lieu Of Gifts

    September 2015

    Invitations to Eugene Massi's 40th birthday dinner celebration read-Dear friends, In lieu of a gift, I ask that you make a donation in Lucie's name to Brain Cancer Biobanking Australia. Many thanks, Euge.

    Eugene, BCBA would like to thank you for your very generous gesture of support. Yours is our first donor event and the $1225 raised marks an important beginning to fundraising events for this significant research initiative.