Entry for:2018 Queensland Women in STEM Prize
1. Please provide a short summary of your research, project or technology.
Known as 'the terminator', the glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive primary brain cancer. Despite treatment, less than 5% of all patients survive beyond 5 years. Currently, there is no cure.
Early detection can kick-start treatment sooner, which may improve the chances of living longer. However, early stage glioblastomas are difficult to recognise. Their symptoms can mimic other conditions, such as the common headache. Or they stay silent until 'maturity'. Unlike breast, cervical, and prostate cancers, there is no screening test for glioblastomas. Nevertheless, medical imaging technologies, such as MRI, may reveal early abnormalities.
There are cases where subtle changes to the brain were incidentally captured before glioblastomas appeared. This Queensland project explores the requirements to raise suspicion from those subtle changes. Knowing that around 1000 Australians are diagnosed with glioblastoma every year, our discoveries will hopefully improve the quality of life for patients and their loved ones.
2. Additional Details
An electronic poster featuring the first 4 patient cases (including images and references) was presented at the 2016 Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) Annual Scientific Meeting.
This project is supervised by A/Prof Lindy Jeffree (Neurosurgeon and Director, Department of Neurosurgery, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital).
Many thanks to A/Prof Lindy Jeffree, Dr Jeffrey Hocking, and Prof Alan Coulthard for their guidance.
Hello, my name is Sarah Li. I am a junior doctor (resident medical officer) with training in electrical and biomedical engineering. I am interested in brain cancer research, medical imaging technology, and machine learning.