Poetry to raise funds for brain cancer research

'A Promise to Peter' is a compilation of poems from a poet who wished to make a difference and help others with brain cancer. His poetry is now funding brain tumour research across The University of Queensland.

When Peter Jones (1951 – 2009) was diagnosed with a brain tumour, his wish was to have his life’s work of poetry published and to raise money for brain tumour research. It would take his sister, Diane Carpenter a decade to fulfil this promise, but in 2020 – A Promise to Peter was released to book readers across the country.

Professor Kristofer Thurecht, from the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and the  Centre for Advanced Imaging, is leading therapeutic nanomedicine research for the treatment of brain tumours, specifically glioblastoma – a type of brain cancer which is the most common and aggressive malignant brain tumour in adults.

He said only four per cent of glioblastoma patients survive five years post-diagnosis.

“Apart from the acute severity of the disease, one of the major reasons the survival rate is so low for glioblastoma patients is the difficulty of getting treatments to successfully penetrate into the brain,” Professor Thurecht said.

His research group aims to deliver better treatments to patients in the coming years through the rapid advancement of personalised nanomedicines - tiny particles that act as therapeutic delivery shuttles, carrying a treatment and also having the ability to target specific cells, such as cancer.

"We discovered that the nanomedicines we trialled could not just enter the tumour but penetrated into its core, demonstrating strong potential for these molecules to be developed into treatments for brain cancer.

“Our research findings offer opportunities to begin to tailor these treatments.”

Professor Thurecht thanked Diane and Peter for their valuable contribution to research.

“Although I didn’t get to meet Peter, I would like to thank him for writing this book of poems, and his sister Diane for producing this book of poetry in his memory and for dedicating the proceeds towards our research. We are grateful for the support and hopeful that our research will improve the lives of those living with brain tumours.”

If you are interested in purchasing the book or contributing to this research, please visit the links below: