Landmark trials to benefit cancer and brain injury patients
Alfred Health and Monash University researchers have secured funding for clinical trials aimed at finding new treatments for people diagnosed with incurable blood cancers and those suffering from severe traumatic brain injury.
Together, more than $4.5 million will be directed to the trials through the Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).
Professor Andrew Udy, intensive care clinician at The Alfred, is leading a new clinical trial that will use technology to better measure and monitor how much oxygen the injured brain is receiving – a critical part of recovery.
“There’s a ‘just right’ level of oxygen that we aim for when caring for a patient with TBI – too much may be damaging to other organs and also have adverse effects on the brain,” said Prof Udy.
“This technology will allow us to measure precisely how much oxygen the brain is receiving and then make changes to the level if needed.”
Nearly half of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) victims die within 6 months and survivors can be left with permanent disability.
“We are hopeful that having extra information for clinicians at the beside, who can then optimise management of the oxygen levels, will not only improve survival but functional outcomes for patients with severe TBI.”
Myelofibrosis and Myeloma
Professor Andrew Perkins from the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases received a grant to improve the understanding of genetic profiling of people with myelofibrosis (MF), a rare incurable blood cancer. Genetic profiling of patients is becoming increasingly important for accurate prognosis and for personalised treatment options. The funding will build a registry-linked national platform trial to improve precision-based outcomes, based on low cost genomic profiling.
Professor Andrew Spencer, head of Alfred Health’s Malignant Haematology & Stem Cell Transplantation Service, will investigate the best treatment options for senior Australians suffering from multiple myeloma (MM). Survival rates for patients with MM, a debilitating and incurable haematological cancer, drop to 27 per cent after 65 years of age.