Adding androgen (male hormone) blockers to standard treatment in brain cancer


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Grant recipients A/Professor Christine Chaffer and Dr Sofia Mason are exploring a promising new approach to treat glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer with a short average survival, even after optimal surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

Their research focuses on using medications that block male hormones in combination with standard treatments. Early findings indicate that a majority of glioblastoma cases may rely on specific hormone receptors. With funding from St Vincent’s Clinic Research Foundation, the team is currently testing this approach in mice, and if successful, they plan to launch clinical trials for people with glioblastoma.

The potential impact of this research is significant. It could bring about a new and much-needed treatment for glioblastoma, a cancer with limited therapeutic options. Identifying and targeting these hormone receptors may also become a groundbreaking biomarker, helping pinpoint patients who can benefit from this intervention. This innovative strategy of targeting specific receptors could also pave the way for more effective treatments for glioblastoma and potentially for other types of cancers. The researchers are working towards swift clinical implementation and have consulted with COGNO, a neuro-oncology trials group, to ensure the appropriateness of their proposed intervention.

To help fund research taking place on the St Vincent’s Darlinghurst Health Innovation Precinct, please click here to donate now.

Dr Sofia Mason, involved in the research, brings her expertise to medical oncology and is completing a PhD supervised by A/Prof Christine Chaffer.