Young doctors to share their fight for brain cancer cure at White Pearl Foundation event

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During Brain Cancer Action Month, friends and supporters of the White Pearl Foundation are uniting once again on Friday, May 19 in support of brain cancer patients at the 5th Annual Breakfast for Brain Cancer.

The event will be held at the Royal Motor Yacht Club, Point Piper from 11am and will feature The Brain Cancer Group’s (TBCG) Dr Jackie Yim and Dr Alexander Yuile as guest speakers.

Ahead of the event, The Greek Herald spoke with Dr Yim and Dr Yuile to hear all about their work.

Dr Jackie Yim and Dr Alexander Yulie. Photo: Supplied.

Dr Jackie Yim:

You’re a young radiation therapist joining the fight for a cure for brain cancer. Why is this so important to you?

As a radiation therapist, I have seen firsthand how brain cancer can severely affect a person’s daily function and their normal roles in social and family life. Brain cancer carries a poor prognosis and patients and families are often devastated with such a diagnosis.

I am particularly interested in research and how that can advance treatments and ultimately improve patient outcomes. There has not been a major breakthrough in brain cancer treatments in recent times and research is the only way forward. I am passionate about improving care for brain cancer patients and their families through research findings.

Dr Jackie Yim. Photo: Supplied.

What does your role as a radiation therapist consultant involve?

In my current role, I have been collaborating with the medical team here at Royal North Shore Hospital to create a comprehensive multidisciplinary brain cancer database; The Brain Cancer Group Databank. The Brain Cancer Group Databank builds on top of our strong research program and enables research collaborations with other research groups in Australia and internationally. The Brain Cancer Group Databank will enable seamless data capture to conduct timely research into new diagnostics and treatments. The ultimate goal of our research program is to improve outcomes for patients and their families.

You’ve led the development of new clinical practices. Can you describe one practice and its importance?

One practice that comes to mind is the development of intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for breast treatments in 2013-2015. At the time, breast radiotherapy was delivered using a conventional technique that did not take into account the curvature of the anatomy.

Photo: Supplied.

The breast IMRT technique that I researched, developed and implemented at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) is an advanced technique at the time which allows radiation beams to be shaped according to the curvature of the breast; effectively giving maximum dose to the breast whilst sparing the lungs and heart. The technique at the time was ahead-of-its-time in Australia and was a major change to breast radiotherapy treatment protocols at RNSH. The results of our research were subsequently published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. 

This year you’re a guest speaker at the 5th annual Breakfast for Brain Cancer. What can people expect to hear from you on the day?

I will be speaking about The Brain Cancer Group Databank project, its use in brain cancer research and implications for patient care.

Dr Alexander Yuile:

Dr Alexander Yulie. Photo: Supplied

You’re a young doctor joining the fight for a cure for brain cancer. Why is this so important to you?

I think I was drawn to the brain cancer sphere because it is an area of need. 

What does your role as a medical oncologist involve?

As a medical oncologist I work as part of the cancer care team to find the best treatment tailored to each patient. While there are a lot of aspects to cancer care like surgery and radiation treatment, the area I specialise in is giving medicines such as chemotherapy and new medications accessed through clinical trials.

You’re currently enrolled in a PhD to study how the molecular composition of Gliomas influences the tumour response to treatment. What do you hope to achieve from this research?

I hope to achieve a better understanding of why some people with certain types brain tumours do not respond to treatment as well as we thought and to find a better way to treat these people. 

Photo: Supplied.

This year you’re a guest speaker at the 5th annual Breakfast for Brain Cancer. What can people expect to hear from you on the day?

I will be talking about research being conducted by The Brain Cancer Group team. In particular, I will be discussing our translational research. Translational research is the area of research that focuses on developing scientific discoveries and concepts to be used in patient care.

The fundraising brunch will be held in the Pacific Room of the Royal Motor Yacht Club, Wunulla Road, Point Piper at 11am on Friday, May 19th, 2023. Tickets are available now and can be purchased through www.whitepearlfoundation.org. If you cannot attend but would like to make a donation, please follow the donation link on the website.

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