The University of Newcastle is taking a step towards finding a cure for brain cancer, with the announcement of a new research centre. 

The Mark Hughes Foundation Centre for Brain Cancer Research builds on the existing partnership between the Mark Hughes Foundation (MHF) and the University, with MHF having now committed over $15 million over five years to establish a dedicated research team and centre. 

A $10 million contribution from the University makes the centre a $25 million philanthropic investment. 
Bringing in colleagues from HMRI and the local heath district, as well as a national network of experts in the field, the centre will drive critical research, education, and health care improvements for brain cancer patients across the country, as well as their families and carers, and heath professionals. 

Professor Michael Fay will join the University as the MHF Foundation Chair in Brain Cancer and as Director of the Mark Hughes Foundation Centre for Brain Cancer Research, bringing with him extensive experience in brain cancer research and medical and radiation oncology. 

He said his team of researchers has already begun work to improve outcomes for brain cancer patients.

“There’s a whole lot of different streams of research being done at the moment, for instance, developing new tests and new types of imaging for brain cancer. We want to translate these into patients as quickly as we can, so, take them out of the laboratory and into the clinical arena where we hope they can be used for patient benefit,” Professor Fay said. 

“The problem with high-grade brain cancer, or glioblastoma, is that the outlook hasn’t really changed in 20 years. Lots of things have been tried- chemotherapy was brought in during the early 2000’s- but things really haven’t improved much and for a lot of these patients, the outcomes are really poor.”

A previous recipient of the MHF HMRI Clinical Research Fellowship, Professor Fay said the Foundation’s commitment to the cause was inspiring. 

 “I’m just delighted by the ongoing support from the Foundation and I think all of the brain cancer researchers locally would feel the same way,” he said. 

“The fight against brain cancer is an urgent one and the establishment of a dedicated brain cancer research centre further cements our commitment to helping solve this devastating disease. My ambition is to advance brain cancer research and achieve the greatest impact for brain cancer patients and their families”.