The Cure Starts Now

Townsville's Greatest Ever Medical Achievement?

The Cure Starts Now (Australia) is based in Townsville and home of founder, Ren Pedersen. Ren’s 7yo daughter Amy passed away in 2009. This well known local business man immediately started his tireless journey to help find cures for the deadliest  paediatric brain tumours, creating The Cure Starts Now (Australia). With over $1.5M raised locally in the past few years alone,  life saving research results are now evident and gaining international recognition!


Every year, around 20 innocent Australian children die from “The Deadliest Cancer Known To Man”, an horrific brain tumour known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). The average age of diagnosis for DIPG is just 7 years. With no effective treatments, average survival is just 12 months from diagnosis. Scientists now agree that by curing DIPG, universal or “homerun” cancer cures beckon!

A paper published today in the prestigious journal, Nature Communications, reveals a potential revolutionary drug combination that – in animal studies and in world first 3D models of the tumour – is “spectacularly effective in eradicating the cancer cells,” according to lead researcher and paediatric oncologist Associate Professor David Ziegler, from the Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia:

These promising results were the product of a research project funded by Townsville`s The Cure Starts Now (Australia) alongside our DIPG Collaborative partners :

In pre-clinical testing in mouse models, the researchers found that the promising drug combination led to survival in two thirds of the mice and that the drug combination completely halted growth of these highly aggressive tumours in these mice.

Importantly, the drug therapy, which is currently in early trials in adult cancer, is the most effective treatment ever tested in laboratory models of this incurable childhood cancer. The treatment is a combination of two drugs: difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), an established drug, and AMXT 1501, an investigational agent being developed by Aminex Therapeutics.

DFMO is increasingly getting attention as a treatment for difficult-to-control cancers like neuroblastoma, another aggressive childhood cancer, and colorectal cancer in adults. DFMO works by targeting the polyamine pathway – an important mechanism that allows tumor cells to grow.

Associate Professor Ziegler has shown for the first time that the polyamine pathway is critical to the growth of DIPG cells. As Guest Speaker at The Cure Starts Now`s most recent Gala at The Ville in Townsville, A/Prof. Ziegler explained how his team developed Australia’s first research program into DIPG by using tumour cells donated by the parents of children who have passed away from the disease.

From these, Dr Zeigler`s team created the first laboratory models of the tumour in order to test new drugs. These models have been used to show that DIPG can bypass the activity of DFMO by pumping polyamines into the cancer, essentially allowing the tumour to continue growing despite treatment with DFMO. They have now made the breakthrough discovery that treatment with a new developmental drug, AMXT 1501, potently blocks the transport of polyamines into the DIPG cancer cell. Treatment with AMXT 1501 was found to re-sensitize the DIPG cells to DFMO leading to what Associate Professor Ziegler said, “was a spectacular response in animal models, with a significantly increased survival and minimal toxicity (side effects).”

Associate Professor Ziegler said that clinical trials of the drug combination in DIPG are planned to begin this year in children in a global study led by the Children’s Cancer Institute, linking Qld hospitals via the CONNECT Consortium, a $12M, 16 hospital member trial collaborative in 4 countries and with operational funding by The Cure Starts Now!

The Cure Starts Now (Australia) contacts:

Eleni Millios-Hullick
CEO The Cure Starts Now
M: 0413 777 931

Ren Pedersen – Director & Australian Founder
M: 0413 318 425

About The Cure Starts Now

The Cure Starts Now was started by parents in response to a desire to fund a universal cure research strategy, starting with those cancers that experts believe we can learn the most from the deadliest paediatric brain cancers. Today, The Cure Starts Now has over 40 locations in three countries. The Cure Starts Now (Australia) was founded by Ren Pedersen, father of Amy, a local businessman, philanthropist and humanitarian. CSN AU is the fully independent local arm of this exciting international organization

Believing in more than just awareness, The Cure Starts Now has funded over $15 million in cancer research, resulting in over 97 cutting edge research grants in 15 countries since 2007. Learn more about The Cure Starts Now and their mission to find holistic cures for cancer at  and follow for updates.

About The DIPG/DMG Collaborative

The DIPG/DMG Collaborative is a collection of foundations with the shared mission of efficiently funding and inspiring DIPG cancer research with the belief that through a cure for DIPG, significant advances in other cancer research will be made.  As of 2021, membership included 28 independent foundations, dedicated to research funding with transparency, cooperation and the elimination of duplication.  You can find more at

About Children’s Cancer Institute

Originally founded by two fathers of children with cancer in 1976, Children’s Cancer Institute is the only independent medical research institute in Australia wholly dedicated to research into the causes, prevention, and cure of childhood cancer. Forty years on, our vision is to save the lives of all children with cancer and improve their long-term health, through research. The Institute has grown to now employ over 300 researchers, operational staff and students, and has established a national and international reputation for scientific excellence. More at

 About Aminex Therapeutics

Aminex Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development of a novel small molecule combination therapy for the treatment of broad range of cancer indications. Aminex has advanced AMXT 1501+ DFMO through target discovery, patenting, pre-clinical research and now into clinical development forthe potential benefit of cancer patients. For more information, please visit