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“It was like the world stopped that day.”
When Daryl – a basketball obsessed kid with big dreams – was just 10 years old, his parents noticed a stye in his left eye.
On further testing, Daryl was referred to a specialist. An MRI scan confirmed there was a tumour impacting his vision, and Daryl had to go into surgery immediately to try to have it removed.
The surgery went on for over 8 hours, and after many attempts, the surgeon could not remove the tumour out of fear Daryl might become blind.
Daryl’s family had their worst fears confirmed – the tumour was cancerous, and he would need to undergo chemotherapy to stop the tumour’s growth.
“I was very worried. I never thought it would happen to me… but it did,” says Daryl.
No child should face brain cancer
Around 120 children per year are diagnosed with brain cancer in Australia, and about 55 per cent of these children are younger than 5 years old.
Most brain cancers are difficult or impossible to treat, leaving children fighting for their lives from this devastating disease.
Treatments like chemotherapy can temporarily delay tumour growth, however, many chemotherapy drugs can’t cross the blood-brain barrier (our natural defence system against harmful chemicals entering the brain), leaving the cancer practically untreatable without surgery.
Will you donate today and have a personal hand in creating a lifesaving treatment, saving the lives of children battling brain cancer?
Support lifesaving research
Together with their team, Professor Michael Brown and Dr Tessa Gargett are developing an immunotherapy called chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy.
CAR T-cell therapy uses the patient’s cancer-fighting T-cells by genetically engineering them in the lab to create ‘supercharged’ CAR T-cells. These ‘supercharged’ cells are then returned to the patient in the hope they can attack the cancer cells in the brain.
“Brain cancer patients have very poor survival rates and limited treatment options. After standard treatment of surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, the cancer cells grow back and cause death in almost all patients,” says Professor Brown.
“Surgery to remove brain tumours can be very risky by causing seizures, problems with speech, movement and balance and personality changes,” says Dr Gargett.
You can help!
The results from Professor Brown and Dr Gargett’s pre-clinical trial are incredibly promising and bring us new hope for kids fighting cancer.
Professor Brown and Dr Gargett need your help to get one step closer to clinical testing and making this treatment available to kids fighting brain cancer.
“The hope is that this treatment will slow or even stop tumour growth,” says Dr Gargett.
Your support for this next stage is vital. We can only bring this ground-breaking treatment to kids like Daryl fighting brain cancer with your donation today.