Dr Amanda Hudson wins Mark Hughes Foundation Innovation Grant

The Bill Walsh Lab’s Dr Amanda Hudson will lead an exciting pilot study after being awarded an innovation grant by the Mark Hughes Foundation for brain cancer research. The Bill Walsh Lab scientist is one of a select group to have received funding from the foundation. Her research will now investigate the early detection of disease progression in brain cancer. Dr Hudson said identifying changes in tumour growth early is the key to maintaining the wellbeing of cancer patients. “Our project aims to improve the monitoring of patients with brain cancer, so that we can identify if a tumour has begun to grow, even before any symptoms develop,” she said. “This would allow ineffective treatments to be stopped, and other treatments that may be able to control the tumour to begin as soon as possible.”

Currently brain tumours are monitored with imaging or through surgery, but these techniques have limitations. This project will use simple blood tests to find factors or protein biomarkers in the blood that change as tumours change. “Blood samples will be taken at routine clinical check-ups so that patients don’t need to come to the clinic more than necessary. “This will allow us to follow these factors along each patient’s journey with brain cancer. We’ll be able to see how the factors change with treatment and over time, and we may be able to predict if the tumour will respond to the treatment. “We’ve already identified some protein biomarkers in the tumours that change as the tumours starts to grow. We will now test these in the blood to see if those levels also change. “We will also be looking for all of the proteins in blood, which will help predict the behaviour of the tumour. “If this project is successful, it will greatly assist the management of patients with brain cancer. “

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