Month: December 2018

Newcastle researchers raising awareness of deadly brain cancer, DIPG

Deadly: Hunter researchers took these photographs of the neurospheres of a brain stem cancer called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), which were grown in a lab at the University of Newcastle.
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IT IS hard to believe something so stunningcan be so very deadly, but these images taken by Hunter medical researchers offer an intimate look at a “ferocious” brain cancer that almost exclusively affects children.

A team of University of Newcastle and HMRI researchers have begun to dig deeper into a brain stem cancer calleddiffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, orDIPG.

They shared these images of the cancer’s “neurospheres,” grown in theirNewcastle lab,on May 17 – DIPG Awareness Day – in the hope it woulddraw attention to the devastating disease that has an overall survival of just 10 months.

“That means that half the kids who get itwill liveless than that,” Dr Matt Dun, aCancer Institute NSW Fellowassociated with HMRI and the University of Newcastle,said.

“DIPG has atwo-year survival rate of 10per cent, and longer than that, a 1per cent survival.

“The geography of the cancer is probably the cause of all of this, and the changes in the cells are dramatic –something I’ve not seen in my years of cancer research.”

DIPG was such a “ferocious disease” that some parents chose to decline radiotherapy –the only current therapy available – because it was only temporarily beneficial at best, and on occasion, completely failed, he said.

“DIPGis rare, but it is responsible for the most associated deaths because everyone dies with it,” Dr Dun said.

Deadly: Hunter researchers took these photographs of the neurospheres of a brain stem cancer called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), which were grown in a lab at the University of Newcastle.

But, Dr Dun said, there was some solid research happening in the field, such as one study that managed to eradicateDIPG in mice, but caused potentially fatal inflammation.

It was a step in the right direction. Progress. And more studies like this could be investigated if more money was channeled into medical research.

“Gene sequencing laboratories around the world have sequenced more than 1500 DIPGsto get the gene mutations, but noone has looked at the protein expressions yet, which is what my group does,” Dr Dun said.

“We’re grouping patients with different mutations together, and then comparing them to see if we can find unique signatures that might be target-able with drugs that are already in existence.

“That’s what we’ve started, and that’s what we’re working towards.

“Rather than trying to build more beds, we could probably keep people out of beds by putting more money into medical research,” he said.

Vic ambo appalled as attackers spared jail

Paramedic Paul Judd’s attackers were spared jail for assaulting him in 2016.Paramedic Paul Judd, who suffered injuries needing three operations, and still can’t work after he was bashed by two drunken women in Melbourne, is appalled that his attackers have “gotten away” with their crime.
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Mr Judd wiped away tears as Amanda Warren, 33, and Caris Underwood, 22, had their jail sentences quashed on appeal on Tuesday.

“I just feel that justice hasn’t been done,” he said.

Warren and Underwood pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Judd, a paramedic with more than 40 years experience, as he treated an unconscious man in 2016.

Warren was sentenced to six months in jail, and Underwood four months, by Melbourne Magistrates Court. They appealed against their prison terms in the Victoria County Court.

Judge Barbara Cotterrell on Tuesday said their difficult childhoods and young families meant the mandatory minimum six-month term should not apply.

“Whilst having enormous sympathy for the victims who were attacked while going about their duties as emergency workers … I have reached the conclusion that imposing the sentence at this stage would achieve little,” she told the court.

Victorian laws introduced in 2014 require anyone who intentionally injures an emergency worker to be imprisoned for at least six months, unless there are “special reasons”.

Judge Cotterell said she did not think Warren or Underwood were “suitable vehicles” for general deterrence and found their difficult childhoods constituted “special reasons”.

Details about the women’s past cannot be published for legal reasons, but the judge found Warren suffered from a mental illness and had impaired mental function.

She also said Underwood, who was 18 at the time of the assault, had a lowered psychosocial immaturity linked to her traumatic childhood.

Mr Judd was repeatedly punched and left with a broken foot while he and colleague Chenaye Bentley tried to treat an unconscious man at Reservoir on March 31, 2016.

The paramedic needed three operations and has been unable to return to work.

Judge Cotterell apologised to Mr Judd after re-sentencing Warren to a three-year community corrections order and 150 hours of community work, while Underwood received a two-year order and 50 hours of unpaid work.

“I’m really sorry and can see that you are badly affected,” she told him.

Outside court, Mr Judd said he was appalled and devastated by Judge Cotterell’s decision, which also has implications for his colleagues.

“It just leaves the door open for everybody to have an excuse to do what they want with no repercussions,” he told reporters.

“And that’s basically what (those) people did – gotten away with it, no repercussions.”

Mr Judd also said he had spent more time in hospital than the 14 days of pre-sentence detention the woman served after they were arrested.

Australian Associated Press

Newcastle Jets: In-demand Dimi closes in on Socceroos spot for World Cup

HIGH FIVE: Jets midfielder Dimi Petratos has been selected in a 26-man Socceroos squad for a pre World Cup camp in Turkey, starting Sunday. Picture: AAPDIMIPetratos is on the verge of World Cup selection, was second in the Johnny Warren Medal presented to the A-League player of the year and dominated the Jets’club awards.
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It’s little wonder the Jets want to tie him down to a long-termdeal.

Petratos has another year on his contract, but the Jets are keen to extend his stay.A new deal is likely to include an upgrade for next season.

“It is certainly something we are looking at,” Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna said. “We have spoken to his agent. The feedback was positive but with the grand final taking priority, we left it at that.”

Petratos and former Jets teammate Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds) have been selected in a 26-man Socceroos squad for a World Cup training camp in Turkey starting this weekend.

The pair made their national team debuts against Nowayin March andimpressed coach Bert van Marwijk with their versatility and technical ability.

They will get another chance to press their claims for a ticket to Russia during an intense two-week campwhich includes a friendly against the Czech Republic in Vienna on June 1.

The final23-man squad for Russia will be named on June 3.

“Dimi has always showed potential but has lacked that consistency,” McKinna said. “This season under Ernie Merrick he has been fantastic. The Newcastle environment has been good for him. Same with Andrew. It is great for the club and proves we have an environment where boys can realise their potential.”

Defender Bailey Wright and in-form Hibernian hit man Jamie Maclaren werethe biggest names to miss out on the training squad.

Newcastle Jets: In-demand Dimi closes in on Socceroos spot for World Cup TweetFacebook World Cup hopeful: Dimi PetratosPictures: Max Mason-Hubers, Jonathan Carroll, Darren Pateman (AAP)Tim Cahil insists there was no sentimentality behind his selection and said he will be “driving even harder” to book his spot at a fourth World Cup in Russia.

“I don’t feel any player has a given right – regardless of what you’ve done in your past – to think they’ve got that seat on the plane to Russia,” Cahill said. “I’ll be leaving no stone unturned because football is my life.”

Cahill is currently in the US and will join the rest of the squad in Turkey next week.

Socceroos26- man squad

Goalkeepers:Brad Jones, Mat Ryan, Danny Vukovic

Defenders:Aziz Behich, Josh Brillante, Milos Degenek, Fran Karacic, Matt Jurman, James Meredith, Mark Milligan, Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury

Midfielders:Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, Massimo Luongo, Aaron Mooy, Petratos, Tom Rogic, James Troisi

Forwards:Daniel Arzani, Cahill, Tomi Juric, Robbie Kruse, Mat Leckie, Nabbout, Nikita Rukavytsya.

NPL: Benn Kelly helping Rosebud make plenty of noise

ON A HIGH: In-form Rosebud goalkeeper Benn Kelly in action for Lake Macquarie last NPL season against Adamstown. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
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AT the start of the season, Adamstown was the quietest squad goalkeeper Benn Kelly had beenpart of.

The former Azzurri, Hamilton, Maitland, Weston andLake Macquarie shot-stopper was one of many new faces in rookie coach Shane Cansdell-Sherriff’s group, andhe says it took a while for everyone to gel.

Now, he says,“you can’t shut them up” at the Northern NSW NPL’s “giant-killers”.

“I was doing some training withClint Gosling the other night and the rest of the squad was warming up,” Kelly said.“And Clint said: ‘Hear that?That wasn’t happening at the start of the year. Listen to the chirp, the attitude and the drive. The happy-go-lucky attitude.’

“A few people are calling us giant-killers butwe’re just a bunch of blokes having a game and enjoying it. Enjoying playing for the club, for Shane and each other.

“Everyone is just working for each other, working hard and everyone is enjoying each other’s company. It’s a bit of a no dickhead policy and everyone, whether they are 17 or 33, they are all just reallygood fellas.”

Adamstown are making plenty of noise in the league afterbouncing back from a 9-1 loss to Maitland in round three to draw 1-1 with defending champions Lambton Jaffas then topple ladder leaders Charlestown 3-2 and Edgeworth 1-0 overthe past fortnight.

Despite having the worst defensive (24 goals) and second-worst attacking (10 goals) records,Rosebud’s determined efforts against the heavyweights have lifted them to 11 points and sixth place after nine rounds.

Kelly has been instrumental in the resurgence, claiming threeplayers’ player awards in recent weeks.

The 33-year-old missed the opening three games after fracturing his leg in a clash of knees during a trial game with Cooks Hill. He has conceded 12 goals in six games since returning, but those include 4-0 losses to Broadmeadow and Lake Macquarie in which Adamstown had a player sent off.

“He’s been playing in the league for a long time,” Cansdell-Sherriff said. “He knows the player I need, I’ve had a few chats with him andhe knows what’s required and he’s taken to it well.The last three games especially he’s been a standout and shown what he’s capable of.”

Kelly put the turnaround down to “Shane getting us organised” in defence and the squad “just having fun”.

“Obviously the first few games we were leaking some goals and he knew he had a duty to, if we’re not scoring many, we had to tighten up at the back, so we’ve been working really hard with [assistant] Phil Koina and Shane on that,” Kelly said.

Kelly was set for a rest when Adamstown take on Raymond Terrace at King Park in round five of the FFA Cup on Wednesday night.

Nissan withdraws Supercars support

Todd Kelly has declared his Supercars team will be driving Altimas in 2019 despite Nissan Australia withdrawing support from the end of this season.
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The Japanese brand has called time on its backing of the team, six years after Kelly Racing began their association with Nissan.

Despite their decision to pull support – which is more akin to a sponsorship loss than withdrawal of factory assistance – Kelly said they’d be trucking on.

“It’sbusinessasusualforusin2019aswecontinuetoracetheAltimanext year,”saidKelly of the Nissan model.

“Thisannouncementwon’tslowourdevelopmentaswecontinuetopushfurtherupthe grid.”

The Nissans have struggled to compete with dominant teams on the grid.

Kelly Racing – rebadged as Nissan Motorsport since 2013 – has tallied two race wins and 11 other podium finishes during the six-year stretch.

Nissan is one of just three makes represented in the grid following Erebus Motorsport’s decision to switch from Mercedes to Holden in 2016.

Supercars chief executive Sean Seamer thanked Nissan for their support, saying they were open to a return.

“Sponsors’ priorities change and develop over time. We look forward to welcoming Nissan back at some point in the future,” he said.

“Todd, Rick and the team have done a great job in developing the Altima into a package which has been highly competitive with dual podiums at Phillip Island and regular top ten performances.

“They will carry that form through the rest of this year and we look forward to the Altima lining up against the Ford Mustang and Holden Commodore once again in Adelaide next year.”

Australian Associated Press