Marcus Rosin Fund support of Brain Cancer Vaccine Project

This week marked Marcus Rosin’s 19th heavenly birthday.

Diagnosed with ependymoma brain cancer at the age of four, Marcus had a five-year cancer journey and fought extremely hard, but sadly passed away in May 2014, at only nine years of age.

Throughout his fight, Marcus underwent a series of gruelling treatments, including 73 sessions of cranial and spinal radiation, multiple surgeries, 40 weeks of chemotherapy which included two clinical trials, blood tests every week and five blood and platelet transfusions – but ultimately cancer took control.

Devastatingly, brain cancer kills more Australian children than any other disease and current treatments have remained unchanged for over three decades.

Determined to change the odds for other families, Marcus’s parents, Marisa and Fabian, joined forces with the Children’s Cancer Foundation in 2015 to establish the Marcus Rosin Fund, with the purpose of supporting clinical research and accelerating research into new treatments. Their goal has been to fund a project specifically for ependymoma, with the hope to save other families from going through the gut-wrenching pain of losing a child to brain cancer like they did.

Late last month, their wish became a reality. In collaboration with the Children’s Cancer Foundation, the Rosin family pledged their support to The Robert Connor Dawes (RCD) Brain Cancer Vaccine Project at the University of Queensland – with funding from the Marcus Rosin Fund.

The Brain Cancer Vaccine Project will see scientists develop a world-first vaccine that trains the body to recognise tumour molecules and eliminate them by harnessing the body’s immune system to fight the disease. Experts in immunology and brain tumour biology will join forces to develop an mRNA vaccine that will initially focus on ependymoma, a common malignant brain tumour, which will then be adapted to other paediatric brain tumour types as the project moves along. With the aim to enrol patients in clinical trials by 2025.

Attending the Brain Cancer Vaccine Project official launch in Queensland on Wednesday, 31 January, Marisa spoke of her family’s involvement in the project and honouring Marcus,

“We are thrilled to be involved with the RCD Foundation, especially given both Connor and Marcus passed away from ependymoma. It’s a dream of ours to have Marcus’ name involved, even though he is physically no longer with us, he will part of such an amazing project which gives hope for all children going through this journey. A dream come true and if this is part of a cure one day, then we have done our job in honour of our angels.”

Read more about the Brain Cancer Vaccine Project here:

L to R: Marisa Rosin, Liz Dawes OAM (Robert Connor Dawes Founder and CEO), Prof Di Yu at the Brain Cancer Vaccine Project launch in Queensland.


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