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Mary Jane Lim-Fat – 2021 Research Grant Recipient

Funded through the generosity of donors

Mary Jane Lim-FatMary Jane Lim-Fat – Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre – Toronto, ON

Project Title: “Assessing molecular, clinical and imaging predictors of response, quality of life measures and neurocognitive outcomes in young patients with low grade glioma undergoing multimodality therapy”

Description of Project:

Low grade gliomas (LGGs) most commonly occur in adolescents and young adults (15-39 years old). Treatment strategies are varied and may include a combination of radiation and chemotherapy, and molecular information has helped reframed the role for possible targeted therapies. Patients with LGG may live with their diagnosis for several decades; therefore, it is of utmost importance that the chosen treatment strategy not only optimize survival, but also allows the patient to maintain a high quality of life (QoL) and neurocognitive function (NCF). How treatment strategies differentially affect QoL and NCF are unknown, which has hindered progress towards the identification of optimal treatment and support strategies.

In this project, we will investigate how QoL and NCF are impacted by different treatment strategies in young adult patients, and how these metrics intersect with molecular tumour marker data. This data is essential towards improving the long-term outcomes in this population, and will equip health care providers with the knowledge on how to better develop the goals of care and discuss treatment strategies with patients. It may also result in a more proactive timeline for interventions, including those of psychosocial nature, which help maintain/improve QoL in patients with chronic illnesses.

What receiving this award means:

“As a new investigator interested in developing more precise and individualized treatments for young adults with brain tumours, I am very grateful to Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada for helping launch my research career. This grant will help fund one of many future collaborative endeavors to help improve the care and outcomes of young adult patients with glioma.”

Midpoint Review- October 2023

Since receiving this award, we have established collaborations with specialists to establish a workflow in conducting and assessing the results of our battery neurocognitive function (NCF) tests. Our first participants were enrolled in 2021 and there are currently 20 patients that are being followed on this multimodality longitudinal study with a goal to enroll another 20. Our project has highlighted the need for a concerted effort across Canada to improve AYA care, and has contributed to the formation of the Canadian AYA Neuro-Oncology Network (CANON).