Research Spotlight - Brain Cancer | Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

Brain Cancer Research


The neuro-oncology research team is focused on improving treatments and outcomes for patients with brain cancer.

The team is made up of a multidisciplinary group of researchers including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and cancer biologists.


Research Highlights

  • Significant contribution to the Sydney Brain Tumour Bank
  • GlioNET project to track and observe glioma patients over the entire course of their cancer journey including use of the ‘OurBrainBank’ App to track patient-reported outcomes
  • Multi-omic profiling (genes and proteins) of bloods from patients with metastatic brain cancer to track the source of the metastases
  • Tracking glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) progress through extracellular vesicles in the blood

Our Researchers

Dr Brindha Shivalingam, Director

Dr Kim Alexander (Kaufman), Research Lead

  • Dr Johnny Wong
  • Dr Rodney Allan
  • Dr Ben Jonker
  • Dr Susannah Hallal
  • Dr Hao-Wen Sim
  • A/Prof Michael Buckland
  • Dr Laveniya Satgunaseelan
  • Dr Ágota Tűzesi
  • Dr Daniel Madani
  • Dr Elissa Xian
  • Liam Sida

Learn about the big ideas in Brain Cancer research


Click on the years below to view published articles.

AZIMI, A., KAUFMAN, K. L., KIM, J., ALI, M., MANN, G. J. & FERNANDEZ-PENAS, P. 2020. Proteomics: An emerging approach for the diagnosis and classification of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and its precursors. J Dermatol Sci, 99, 9-16.

AZIMI, A., YANG, P., ALI, M., HOWARD, V., MANN, G. J., KAUFMAN, K. L. & FERNANDEZ-PENAS, P. 2020. Data Independent Acquisition Proteomic Analysis Can Discriminate between Actinic Keratosis, Bowen’s Disease, and Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma. J Invest Dermatol, 140, 212-222.e11.

FISH, C., SY, J. & WONG, J. 2020. High mitotic activity in a capillary hemangioma of the cauda equina: Case report and review of the literature. Clin Neuropathol, 39, 135-138.

HALLAL, S., AZIMI, A., WEI, H., HO, N., LEE, M. Y. T., SIM, H. W., SY, J., SHIVALINGAM, B., BUCKLAND, M. E. & ALEXANDER-KAUFMAN, K. L. 2020. A Comprehensive Proteomic SWATH-MS Workflow for Profiling Blood Extracellular Vesicles: A New Avenue for Glioma Tumour Surveillance. Int J Mol Sci, 21.

HALLAL, S., EBRAHIM KHANI, S., WEI, H., LEE, M. Y. T., SIM, H. W., SY, J., SHIVALINGAM, B., BUCKLAND, M. E. & ALEXANDER-KAUFMAN, K. L. 2020. Deep Sequencing of Small RNAs from Neurosurgical Extracellular Vesicles Substantiates miR-486-3p as a Circulating Biomarker that Distinguishes Glioblastoma from Lower-Grade Astrocytoma Patients. Int J Mol Sci, 21.

MORRISON, T., JUKES, A. & WONG, J. 2020. Rupture from cavernous internal carotid artery pseudoaneurysm 11 years after transsphenoidal surgery. J Clin Neurosci, 79, 266-268.

ORGAIN, C. A., KUAN, E. C., ALVARADO, R., ADAPPA, N. D., JONKER, B. P., LEE, J. Y. K., PALMER, J. N., WINDER, M. & HARVEY, R. J. 2020. Smell Preservation following Unilateral Endoscopic Transnasal Approach to Resection of Olfactory Groove Meningioma: A Multi-institutional Experience. J Neurol Surg B Skull Base, 81, 263-267.

OVENS, C., DEAN, B., GZELL, C., PATANJALI, N., JONKER, B., O’CONNOR, M., ESTOESTA, P., DEMARTIN, T. & FRASER, C. 2020. Optimal management in optic nerve sheath meningioma – A multicentre study and pooled data analysis. J Clin Neurosci, 80, 162-168.

SHKLOVSKAYA, E., LEE, J. H., LIM, S. Y., STEWART, A., PEDERSEN, B., FERGUSON, P., SAW, R. P., THOMPSON, J. F., SHIVALINGAM, B., CARLINO, M. S., SCOLYER, R. A., MENZIES, A. M., LONG, G. V., KEFFORD, R. F. & RIZOS, H. 2020. Tumor MHC Expression Guides First-Line Immunotherapy Selection in Melanoma. Cancers (Basel), 12.

SIM, H. W., NOWAK, A. K., LWIN, Z. & KHASRAW, M. 2020. Management of glioblastoma: an Australian perspective. Chin Clin Oncol.

STROUD, A., DHALIWAL, P., ALVARADO, R., WINDER, M. J., JONKER, B. P., GRAYSON, J. W., HAMIZAN, A., HARVEY, R. J. & MCCORMACK, A. 2020. Outcomes of pituitary surgery for Cushing’s disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Pituitary, 23, 595-609.

WANG, M., JONKER, B., KILLEN, L., BOGUM, Y., MCCORMACK, A. & BISHAY, R. H. 2020. Fatal high-grade skull osteosarcoma 30 years following radiotherapy for Cushing’s disease. Endocrinol Diabetes Metab Case Rep, 2020.

AZIMI, A., ALI, M., KAUFMAN, K. L., MANN, G. J. & FERNANDEZ-PENAS, P. 2019. Tape Stripped Stratum Corneum Samples Prove to be Suitable for Comprehensive Proteomic Investigation of Actinic Keratosis. Proteomics Clin Appl, 13, e1800084.

HALLAL, S., EBRAHIMKHANI, S., SHIVALINGAM, B., GRAEBER, M. B., KAUFMAN, K. L. & BUCKLAND, M. E. 2019. The emerging clinical potential of circulating extracellular vesicles for non-invasive glioma diagnosis and disease monitoring. Brain Tumor Pathol, 36, 29-39.

HALLAL, S., MALLAWAARATCHY, D. M., WEI, H., EBRAHIMKHANI, S., STRINGER, B. W., DAY, B. W., BOYD, A. W., GUILLEMIN, G. J., BUCKLAND, M. E. & KAUFMAN, K. L. 2019. Extracellular Vesicles Released by Glioblastoma Cells Stimulate Normal Astrocytes to Acquire a Tumor-Supportive Phenotype Via p53 and MYC Signaling Pathways. Mol Neurobiol, 56, 4566-4581.

HALLAL, S., RUSSELL, B. P., WEI, H., LEE, M. Y. T., TOON, C. W., SY, J., SHIVALINGAM, B., BUCKLAND, M. E. & KAUFMAN, K. L. 2019. Extracellular Vesicles from Neurosurgical Aspirates Identifies Chaperonin Containing TCP1 Subunit 6A as a Potential Glioblastoma Biomarker with Prognostic Significance. Proteomics, 19, e1800157.

HONG, A. M., FOGARTY, G. B., DOLVEN-JACOBSEN, K., BURMEISTER, B. H., LO, S. N., HAYDU, L. E., VARDY, J. L., NOWAK, A. K., DHILLON, H. M., AHMED, T., SHIVALINGAM, B., LONG, G. V., MENZIES, A. M., HRUBY, G., DRUMMOND, K. J., MANDEL, C., MIDDLETON, M. R., REISSE, C. H., PATON, E. J., STEEL, V., WILLIAMS, N. C., SCOLYER, R. A., MORTON, R. L. & THOMPSON, J. F. 2019. Adjuvant Whole-Brain Radiation Therapy Compared With Observation After Local Treatment of Melanoma Brain Metastases: A Multicenter, Randomized Phase III Trial. J Clin Oncol, 37, 3132-3141.

OLAFSON, L. R., SIDDELL, A. H., FIELD, K. M., BYRNES, M., RAPKINS, R. W., NG, B., NIXDORF, S., BARNES, E. H., JOHNS, T. G., YIP, S., SIMES, J., NOWAK, A. K., ROSENTHAL, M. A. & MCDONALD, K. L. 2019. Whole genome and biomarker analysis of patients with recurrent glioblastoma on bevacizumab: A subset analysis of the CABARET trial. J Clin Neurosci,
70, 157-163.

YOUNG, A. S., JONKER, B. & WELGAMPOLA, M. S. 2019. Vestibular paroxysmia presenting with irritative nystagmus. Neurology, 92, 723-724.

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