A new brain tumour research lab will open at the University of Adelaide today to investigate the causes behind one of Australia's most aggressive and least understood cancers, which kills one Australian every six hours.


The Dean Bowman Brain Tumour Laboratory will provide world-standard equipment and fund much-needed research into brain cancer, which has an almost 100% fatality rate.


The laboratory is named in honour of one of Santos' senior executives who died from a brain tumour in 2010.


"Brain cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in people aged under 40, yet research into this area is badly needed as survival rates have not improved in two decades," according to Professor Bob Vink, the Chair of the NeuroSurgical Research Foundation and Head of the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Adelaide.'


"More than 1400 people die of brain cancer each year in Australia and it accounts for more than one third of cancer deaths in children aged under 10," Professor Vink says.


"The establishment of this research laboratory will allow us to really focus our research on brain tumours, and more specifically how brain tumours enter the brain and subsequently gain a foothold.


"By preventing cancer cells from other parts of the body entering the brain, we hope to reduce the impact of brain cancer and save lives in the process."



The University of Adelaide established Australia's first Chair of Neurosurgical Research in 1992 with funding from the NRF. The first Chair was Professor Nigel Jones and Professor Vink has been the NRF Chair since 2004.