Tissue Bank Funding Supports Research Worldwide

CIKA has been supporting the tissue bank at the Children’s Cancer Centre (CCC) and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) since its establishment in 2014.  Over that time we have received regular reports on its operation and the way in which it is used by researchers in Australia and overseas.  We recently received a list of the eighteen projects supported by the distribution of tissue samples collected at the RCH and stored in the bank.  Here is a summary of the ten projects undertaken in the first three years of its operation. Subsequent projects will be reported here soon.

2014-2015 Six projects
Molecular characterisation of rare paediatric central nervous system tumours
Research undertaken at the MCRI, the CCC and The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.
Aim: To develop more effective drugs and treatment strategies for patients with brain tumours.  These tumours are the major cause of death for children with cancer.  Those who do survive are often left with devastating side effects from their treatment.
Number of specimens used: 32
Project status: ongoing

Defining the epigenetic landscape of paediatric acute myeloid and lymphoblastic leukaemia
Research undertaken at the MCRI.
Aim: To refine diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemias and hence predict the lon term outcome in children with these cancers.
Number of specimens used: 60
Project status: Ongoing.

Understanding the genetic basis of chemotherapy-induced heart disease
Research undertaken at the MCRI, the CCC.
Aim: To find out why some patients are susceptible to the irreversible and often fatal heart damage that can be caused by some chemotherapeutic drugs used to treat childhood and adolescent malignancies.
Number of specimens used: 354
Project status: Ongoing .

High throughput robotic screening of diffuse pontine glioma
Research undertaken at the MCRI, the CCC and the Lowy Cancer Research Centre, UNSW.
Aim: To improve the poor outcome associated with DIPG, an aggressive and ultimately incurable form of brain cancer which is not amenable to surgery.
Number of specimens used: 84
Project status: Ongoing

Investigating the cellular and molecular biology of oncogenes and translocations
Research undertaken at the MCRI.
Aim: To understand the basic biology involved in gene changes in which parts of two genes that are normally separate are fused to form a new gene with new properties that drive the development of a cancer.
Number of specimens used: not reported, but involving 230 participants
Project status: Ongoing

Finding genes for rare conditions that run in families
Research undertaken at the MCRI and the Victorian Clinical Genetics Services
Aim: To identify and characterise the genetic basis of diseases in individuals and families presenting to the Victorian Clinical Genetics Service.
Number of specimens used: 12
Project status: Closed

2016 Four projects
Predicting Infectious Complications in Children with Cancer
Research undertaken at the MCRI, the CCC and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Aim: To improve the quality of life for children who contract an infection while undergoing treatment by identifying those whose infection can be managed at home.
Number of specimens used: 1543
Project status: Ongoing

Use of Human Tissues for the study of Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis
Research undertaken at the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute, Ballarat.
Aim: To characterize the various cells within LCH lesions and blood from LCH patients and thereby provide insights into the
pathogenesis of LCH.
Number of specimens used: 9
Project status: Ongoing

Molecular profiling of medulloblastoma samples
Research undertaken at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research.
Aim: To establish a local service capable of testing changes to DNA molecules in malignant brain tumours and thereby to avoid the delays in identification and treatment resulting from the necessity to send samples overseas
Number of specimens used: 9
Project status: Ongoing

Identification of genetic drivers in paediatric subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma
Research undertaken at the MCRI, the CCC and the McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada.
Aim: To perform DNA sequencing of tumours using next-generation technologies and to shed light on potential key genetic players in their formation.
Number of specimens used: 4
Project status: Ongoing

More information on each of these projects will be published in forthcoming issues of CIKA eNews.

For a summary of later projects, click here.

To read the entire report now, click here.