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Global research collaboration could be cancer breakthrough

Brain cancer research breakthrough
Photo: Brain cancer research breakthrough
New global system to test drugs offers hope for improved outcomes for people with brain cancer, say researchers

Brain cancer research is about to be turned on its head with an innovative system to test potential treatments and deliver better treatments faster.

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and Australian experts are part of the large global collaboration behind the system, GBM AGILE, being announced in Sydney and Washington DC.

It will cut red tape, potentially deliver faster results and give patients faster access to new, effective treatments than traditional clinical trials.

"This is the best opportunity we've had to dramatically improve outcomes for people with brain cancer," said the foundation's Michelle Stewart.
Pharmaceutical companies traditionally test one drug at a time and patients can be on trials for up to two years before knowing whether the treatment is working.

Success or failure is only measured at the end and it can take up to 12 years and more than $1.2 billion to get a new treatment to patients, she said.

But GBM AGILE is an adaptive trial that identifies if treatments are working, much faster, and tests many drugs on many people at the same time, in the same trial.

Potential treatments can be changed during the trial and success is evaluated throughout the entire process.

The system also will look at repurposing treatments for use on brain cancer that are already being tested in other diseases.

Hundreds of Australians will eventually go through the GBM AGILE system, joining thousands in the USA, China and Europe.

The first patients are expected to enrol in mid-2016.

* kills more children than any other disease
* kills more people under 40 than any other cancer
* only two in 10 patients will survive for five years
* costs more per patient than any other cancer

SOURCE: Cure Brian Cancer Foundation.


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