Contribution since 2010

The Adventurers is defined by its unbreakable spirit, deep compassion and steely resolve. Our close-knit community is comprised of many wonderful people who volunteer their time and energy to raise funds for medical research into childhood brain cancer.

The Adventurers community is a very diverse and committed one: apart from members who choose an adventure, we have members who volunteer as Community Fundraisers, Event & Campaign Co-ordinators, Butterflies, Board Members and Ambassadors. Our community also includes sponsors, donors, medical professionals and members of the broader community (such as parents and teachers).

Over the past seven years, The Adventurers has contributed around $9 million in funding for medical research into childhood brain cancer. This amazing figure is testament to the support and generosity of many caring individuals, businesses, corporate entities and charitable foundations. Without this financial support, The Adventurers would struggle to make the impact it does.

Notable Funding Achievements

Building Capacity in Pre-clinical Testing

World experts have acknowledged the Brain Tumour Research Laboratory as one of the world’s leading research bodies when it comes to pre-clinical testing of new drug candidates for treating childhood brain tumours. With financial support from The Adventurers, the Brain Tumour Research Laboratory (part of the Telethon Kids Institute) has become a world-class research team and the largest dedicated childhood brain tumour research group in Australia. The group, co-led by paediatric oncologist Dr Nick Gottardo and pre-clinical scientist Dr Raelene Endersby, is comprised of 13 staff and students. The Adventurers continues to fund six of these staff members,  including the Head of Pre-Clinical and Scientific Research, and the Elliot Parish Fellow for Childhood Cancer Research.

World-class Equipment

The Brain Tumour Research Laboratory, which officially opened at the Telethon Kids Institute in December 2013, houses specialist research equipment which was funded predominantly by The Adventurers. The equipment includes Elliot’s Machine, named in honour of Rick and Emily Parish’s youngest son, who passed away in 2011 from brain and spinal cancer. Elliot’s Machine is a state-of-the-art small animal imager which enables monitoring of disease progression in animal models. The Adventurers funded Elliot’s Machine, which provides the research team with a world-class testing platform. In recent times, The Adventurers has funded a Nimbus drug-screening robot to enable high throughput screening of potential drug candidates.

Research Projects

The Brain Tumour Research Laboratory is focused on the preclinical testing of drug candidates and combinations for the treatment of childhood brain tumours. There are four major projects currently underway, which receive funding from The Adventurers. These projects are: development of immune therapy for childhood brain tumour; drug discovery for Medulloblastoma; molecular genetics of childhood brain tumours; and development of new preclinical models for Medulloblastoma and Ependymoma. All four projects have already generated a range of positive outcomes, including peer-reviewed publications and public lecture requests for Dr Gottardo and Dr Endersby.

The Global Symposium and Collaboration

In February 2013, the Adventurers funded the first Global Symposium on Childhood Brain Tumours at Bunker Bay. The three-day symposium attracted over 50 of the world’s leading researchers, oncologists and neurosurgeons to Western Australia. An outcome of this ground-breaking conference was the creation of an action plan to defeat Medulloblastoma, which was published in a major international journal, Acta Neuropathologica, in 2014. Consensus was also reached on international clinical trials, high throughput drug screening, animal models and pathology/molecular stratification.

The Global Symposium led to the establishment of several international collaborations, which were funded by The Adventurers’ Global Collaboration Fund. In 2014 and 2016, the fund sponsored the International Symposium on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology (ISPNO) – the largest conference of its kind in the world. In 2015, the Global Collaboration Fund brought three world-leading Medulloblastoma clinicians and researchers to Western Australia: Amar Gajjar (St Jude Children’s Research Hospital), Xiao-Nan Li (Texas Children’s Hospital) and Robert Wechsler-Reya (Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute).