SA Police Ride Like Crazy for Brain Tumour Bank

SA Police Ride Like Crazy for Brain Tumour Bank

Brain cancer research will get a much needed boost in Australia with SAPOL dedicating funds raised through their 2014 and 2015 Ride Like Crazy events to the Flinders Medical Centre Foundation to support the SA Neurological Tumour Bank.

The funding will allow the Flinders based bank to expand its service to provide much needed brain tumour tissue for vital research into brain cancers, a leading cause of death for young people and one of the most under-studied cancers in Australia.

The SA Neurological Tumour Bank provides an invaluable research resource of collected brain tumour tissue from consenting patients who undergo surgery. Flinders Medical Centre is one of two public hospitals in the state that conducts adult neurosurgery, with about 60 malignant and benign brain tumours removed at the hospital every year which could be stored in the new bank.

The bank will now also be able to store tissue from other hospitals and seek out rare tumour donors.

“Approximately 1600 new cases of brain and central nervous system cancers are diagnosed each year in Australia and survival rates are often in the lower percentage of cancer survivors,” said Associate Professor Mark Slee, Director of the SA Brain and Neurological Tumour Banks.

Medical scientists will use donated tissue from the bank to better understand brain tumour types and their development, as well as facilitate the design of more robust and specific drug treatments.

“For example, Flinders neuroscience researchers plan to use proteomics and molecular biology in collaboration with surgeons and oncologists to study the different tumour types and healthy brains in the hope of better understanding the processes that lead to brain cancer,” Assoc Prof Slee said.

SAPOL’s Ride Like Crazy event started in 2009 with more than 600 riders taking part to support Senior Sergeant Mick ‘Crazy’ Koerner, who had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour the year before.

Mick’s passing the same year of the first ride cemented the need for more funds to support brain cancer research and resources like the SA Neurological Tumour Bank which will be utilised by researchers from around Australia to find cures, treatments and biomarkers for cancers of the brain and spinal cord.

“We are excited that our efforts will result in expanding such an important resource for brain cancer research in Australia,” said Deputy Commissioner Grant Stevens. “In a few short years Ride Like Crazy has raised over $650,000, which has funded the purchase of vital equipment and seen significant research advances take place.”

“Since 2011 Ride Like Crazy has donated over $240,000 to support the ground-breaking work underway at Flinders,” said Deb Palmer, Executive Director of the FMC Foundation.

“We are extremely grateful for their kind generosity and awareness of the importance of funding our bright minds as they seek answers for those affected by cancer,” she said.

Ride Like Crazy was held on 19 January 2014. For more information or to register to support this important work please visit www.ridelikecrazy.com.au