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
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 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
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
$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!
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.
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.
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
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
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”.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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/
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
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at BCBA.
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
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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/
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.