The commencement of the IL-23 sarcoma sub-study


The founder of CRBF, Cooper Rice-Brading, was so very passionate about equity within sarcoma care, cure and research.

A great number of his 41 weeks in hospital was spent asking endless questions of his medical team, and learning what he could about osteosarcoma, the cancer he had been diagnosed with.  His findings did little to ease his mind. Due to a dire lack of funding and research, he discovered there was a grave inequity between sarcoma, and other cancers.  Sarcoma simply did not have the research to support cure.

Within two weeks he became determined to shift the dial, and from his bed at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Sydney, CRBF was incepted with the sole purpose of changing the trajectory for sarcoma patients nationally.

Fast forward to the pivotal announcement today, which sees a highly respected member of Cooper’s medical team, Professor David Thomas, together with Dr Maya Kansara, and the remarkable teams from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the University of Sydney, taking the first steps to move the dial for sarcoma patients nationally, with news of enrolment of the first patients on the IL-23 sarcoma sub-study.

We wish to take the opportunity to acknowledge the work it has taken to reach this point, and to sincerely thank the outstanding research team listed in detail below.  Suffice to say, it is their patience, and dedication to advancing sarcoma, that sees this world first study enrolling its first patients.

Dr Maya Kansara, Head – Immunobiology of Cancer Group at Garvan

Prof David Thomas, NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, Director of The Kinghorn Cancer Centre and Head of the Cancer Theme of the Garvan Institute

Dr Vera Terry, Deputy Director, Omico

Dr Lucille Sebastian, Clinical Trials Program Manager – MoST trials.

Dr Mandy Ballinger, Group Leader – Genetic Cancer Risk Group, Garvan Institute

Ms Sarah Chinchen,  Associate Oncology Program Manager Faculty of Medicine and Health – NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre

Ms Kristen  McParland, Trial Operations Coordinator NHMR

Dr Frank Lin, Senior Research Officer, Garvan Institute

Keith Thornton, National Coordinator – Molecular Screening at Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Dr Subo Thavaneswaran, Medical Oncologist, Kinghorn Centre

Dr John Grady, Senior Software Engineer

We also wish to acknowledge Dr Viviane Richter, Ms Anna Sweeney, Ms Michelle Levitt and Ms Mara-Jean Tilley who have each contributed enormously behind the scenes over many years.

CRBF is so very proud to support this innovative clinical research, and in doing so, to become one of the cogs in the wheel that lead us today to this very special announcement.

The funding of this clinical trial has been made possible by the generosity of the Australian community and CRBF supporters.  Without your support, the research dial remains static. This achievement belongs to each of you who showed the generosity required to contribute to the funding of this world-first study.

Whilst it is not possible to personally acknowledge each of our loyal supporters, we wish to make special mention of The Daniel Allchin Race for a Cure, The Matthew Fisher Sarcoma Research fund, The Corio Foundation, David Abouhaidar and IT for a cause, The Wipfli family, Cathrine Mahoney, together with the Sydney Swans Nick Blakey, and former Chairman, Peter Weinert.   It is very important to recognise this announcement is a poignant moment for both the families of Matthew and Daniel, who lost their lives to sarcoma, and both have made an enormous impact on the quest for change.

There have been numerous fund raising campaigns which are in need of recognition, however it is so very important to understand if your name does not appear, it does not minimise your contribution in anyway.  This is a cancer that receives less than 1% government funding, and therefore every cent that is raised is deeply appreciated:

The Watson Brothers and Sam Gilbert English Channel Swim, The Jack Racklyeft Ironman v Sarcoma, Anna McCulla Band Together for Sarcoma, Vince Umbers and Vince’s Marathon for Sarcoma , Sosh Behnia’s NYC 4x4x48,  James Williams Triathlon, Steve Salakas Marathon, and Georgie Kats Instagram appeal, The Georgie Kats and Lauren Skorsis Christmas Diamond appeal, Mikaela Brisbane Memorial Fund, Tayla Zandona 21st Birthday appeal,  Alex McGill and Stuart Charles Amsterdam Marathon, University of Sydney Colleges City to Surf  2019, George Foley and St Johns College/Sancta Sophia College, Daniel Gorry City to Surf, Annie Scott, Georgia Adler and Inez Denham City to Surf, Sydney Grammar Form 6 Sports Trivia Annual Event, Sydney Grammar Women’s Association.

We would also wish to acknowledge The Kids Cancer Project for their ongoing dedication to children’s cancer research, and for highlighting the importance of furthering paediatric and adolescent research into what is commonly referred to as “The forgotten cancer”.

The announcement today marks yet another significant sarcoma research development in Australia over past years with Sock it To Sarcoma in Western Australia funding over a million dollars of research supporting supporting projects in the inhibition of the metastatic invasion of sarcoma cells; a clinical trial in personalised medicine for sarcoma patients and psycho-social research.

The QIMR Berghofer “Infiltrating Myeloid Cells Drive Osteosarcoma Progression via GRM4 Regulation of IL23” study…/9/11/1511… was supported by the Summit for Sarcoma and the tireless work of the Hardyman family in honour of Tom Hardyman who lost his life to sarcoma in 2019. The findings contributing to the IL-23 sarcoma sub-study.

The Far-RMS study for relapsed rhabdomyosarcoma, has also commenced recruiting patients in Australia, with the first site open at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. The national peak scientific body for sarcoma in Australia, ANZSA are a collaborator on this this study.

We would like to acknowledge the outstanding work of those who have walked this road before us and who have paved the way by providing funding and research into sarcoma, for well over a decade:  Sock it to Sarcoma! ANZSA, Rainbows for Kate, Kicking Goals for Xav, Hannah’s Chance, Stoney’s Steps Against Sarcoma,  Joanna Sewell Sarcoma Research Grant, GPA Andrew Ursini Sarcoma Research Grant,  Without the work each of these not for profits have accomplished over the past 12 years, sarcoma research would not be where it is today.

It is nigh on impossible to articulate what this trial, with over ten years high level research behind it, will mean to sarcoma patients who have exhausted mainstream treatment options; to the families of those  patients, to those who have supported this trial through their generosity and belief in providing funding; and to the Rice-Brading family, and their precious son Cooper.

Please press the link below to read the official press release