Brisbane North CPD Dinner

Over thirty General Practitioners from around Brisbane attended our first CPD Dinner at Victoria Golf Club on 21 March to learn more about the treatment and management of brain tumours. Neurosurgeon Dr Michael Bryant presented on common neurosurgical diagnoses and treatments and discussed a number of case studies with the audience. Neurosurgeon Dr Hamish Alexander then presented on clinical presentations and surgery for brain tumours, followed by Genesis Cancer Care […]

Insight into the role of Neuro-Oncology Nurse Practitioner

Get to know our Neuro-Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Vivien Biggs, with an insight into her role, how the role has evolved and how Vivien best assists the needs of our patients and families. How do you think the role has evolved since being established? The role was originally established in 2007 and was titled Brain Tumour Coordinator. The main focus of the role was to provide education and support for brain […]

Dr Terry Coyne leads DBS education globally!

Dr Terry Coyne, Director of the Queensland Brain Institute Prof Pankaj Sah and Neurologist Prof Peter Silburn recently travelled to The First People’s Hospital in China to assist in establishing a Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) service at the People’s Hospital along with a neurosciences research program at the Southern China University of Science & Technology (SUSTEC) in Shenzhen. This is not the first DBS service Dr Coyne has helped set […]

Australian of the Year and Brain Research

Professor Alan Mackay-Sim was recently named Australian of the Year. This is a wonderful accolade for Professor Mackay-Sim who has been at the forefront of developing neural stem cell concepts, which potentially will lead to treatments for spinal cord or brain injury and many other neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. Professor Mackay-Sim has done his work in Brisbane, and his interest in this field stemmed from early research on […]

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

From all the surgeons and team at BrizBrain & Spine, we would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Next year we are looking forward to welcoming Dr Stephen Byrne to our Sunshine Coast Brain & Spine practice and the relocation of our Chermside clinic to a new location situated closer to Holy Spirit Northside Hospital. We will be running our […]

Funding into Brain Cancer Research

“The Age” newspaper has recently reported in the dire situation regarding funding for brain cancer research. The report used the example of a young boy with incurable brain tumour, and lamented the fact that survival for patients with brain cancer has not changed significantly in decades. Not only that, funding for brain cancer lags well behind that for other cancers despite the fact that brain cancer kills more young people […]

CMV and brain tumours

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus in our community. Most adults will show serological evidence of of previous exposure. CMV can cause severe disease, but generally this is only in newborns or in immunosuppressed patients, such as those people having had a transplant. In the last few years, it has become clear that CMV can be identified in brain tumour tissue – both in primary gliomas (glioblastoma, astrocytoma, GBM) and […]

Fear of recurrence – an unmet need

In patients who have faced a diagnosis of cancer, and then had treatment, a subsequent “Fear of Recurrence” can be a severe problem. There is a growing literature of this phenomenon in diseases such as breast cancer, but very little if any work has been done in the field of Brain Cancer. This is a typical scenario – a person is diagnosed with a brain cancer (glioblastoma, GBM, malignant glioma), […]

Tumour Treating Fields – A new treatment for Glioblastoma

Malignant gliomas (glioblastoma, GBM) are difficult to treat. Our current methods of treatment –  surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy – all help but are ultimately not curative. New treatments are desperately needed. In recent years, a new form of treatment has been developed which may have a role in the future – Tumour Treating Fields (TTFields). TTFields are low intensity, intermediate frequency electric fields that slow cell division therefore inhibit tumour […]

The critical role of caregivers

Being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour is a significant burden. Gliomas (including glioblastoma (GBM), astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas) can cause severe disability from the start, and the treatments required can have a severe impact on the person’s life. The stress for the patient and their family can be extreme. Throughout the course of the illness, a patient with a malignant glioma (GBM) often has to rely heavily on their loved […]