12:12am Thursday 19 October 2017

First ever collaborative UK brain tumour scientists workshop to speed up the process of translation from lab to clinic and improve the outcomes for patients

Sharing their insights the scientists will identify areas of prospective collaboration and interaction between the four Brain Tumour Research centres to speed up the process of translation from laboratory to clinic. At the forefront of discussions sits the question of whether drugs used to treat other conditions, such as an anti-depressant, which has been used in treatments for forty years, could be repurposed to tackle the most malignant forms of brain tumours in adults.

Researchers from Imperial College London, Plymouth University, Queen Mary University of London and the University of Portsmouth, will meet in Swindon at a scientific workshop designed to bring together leading thinking around the disease. They will reveal the results of their own investigations and look for areas of collaboration. All attending are partners of Brain Tumour Research and run the research programmes at the charity’s research Centres of Excellence.

During the workshop the scientists will discuss the behaviour of brain tumour cells, how brain tumours metastasise from cancers in other areas of the body, the role of the blood brain barrier and the unique challenges this presents, as well as increasing patient recruitment into clinical trials.

Professor Geoff Pilkington, from the charity’s first research Centre of Excellence based at the University of Portsmouth said:

“In more than 30 years of laboratory-based research few developments have excited me more than the seemingly bizarre finding that using a drug which has been known to us throughout these past four decades – as an antidepressant – may provide an effective way to combat the most malignant forms of primary brain tumour in adults.”

Sue Farrington Smith, Chief Executive of Brain Tumour Research said:

“We now have four flourishing Brain Tumour Research Centres in the UK, which means we are able to build on specialist brain tumour expertise and experience and encourage cross-pollination of the very best thinking at the cutting edge of brain tumour research.

Our ultimate vision is to find a cure for brain tumours through acceleration of research into this most devastating of diseases.

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer… Yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to this devastating disease. This is unacceptable!

We are striving to fund a network of seven dedicated research centres whilst challenging the government and larger cancer charities to invest more in brain tumour research.

Help us fund the fight. Together we will find a cure.”

-ENDS-
 

For further information please contact Katie Abbotts at Brain Tumour Research on 07810 504380 or Katie@braintumourresearch.org
 

Notes to Editors

Fundraising in its own right, Brain Tumour Research is also an umbrella charity, working in collaboration with Member Charities around the UK.
 

Together with this network and supported by the fundraising achievements of our Umbrella Groups and fundraisers across the UK, some £4 million was raised in 2014 to fund both brain tumour research and to provide support for patients and families.

We are striving to fund a network of seven dedicated research centres whilst challenging the government and larger cancer charities to invest more in brain tumour research.

To find out more about the work of the Brain Tumour Research Centres of Excellence, tours of the laboratories are available.

 

Would you like to help fund the fight? Visit our Just Giving page.

 

Brain Tumour Research Centres of Excellence

 

·       University of Portsmouth.  Professor of Cellular and Molecular Neuro-Oncology Geoff Pilkington leads the team at the research Centre of Excellence. Investigations taking place look at tumour cell invasion into healthy brain tissue, effective drug delivery and personalised medicine, including specific treatments for childhood brain tumours, with the aim that this work will improve survival rates and quality of life for patients.

 

·       Queen Mary University of London in collaboration with UCL Institute of Neurology. Research led by Professor Silvia Marino, a leading brain tumour scientist and neuropathologist based within Queen Mary’s Blizard Institute, will specialise in identifying how glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) forms and grows within the brain to identify more efficient drug treatments.

 

·       Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (London). The partnership with Imperial College Healthcare will contribute to trials led by Mr Kevin O’Neill, a consultant neurosurgeon at the Trust, and a team of world-class researchers to investigate the biology of tumour metabolisms to further understand the behaviour of this disease. The team will also be able to extend their use of innovative 3D real time surgical imaging.

 

·       Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry. The Peninsula team led by Oliver Hanemann has a world-leading track record in low-grade brain tumours occurring in teenagers and adults. By identifying and understanding the mechanism that makes a cell become cancerous, the team explores ways in which to halt or reverse that mechanism. A key innovation is fast track: testing new drugs in human primary cell cultures leading to innovative phase 0 trials leading to adaptive phase II/III trials with the potential for making drug therapies available to patients both safely and faster.

Brain Tumours – the facts (please quote Brain Tumour Research as the source when using these statistics):

 

·       Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer…

·       Yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to this devastating disease.

·       16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a primary or secondary brain tumour.

·       Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers.

·       Brain tumours represent 1% of cancers diagnosed, yet 3% of cancer deaths.

·       Up to 40% of cancers spread to the brain.

·       3,600 people a year die from a brain tumour

·       1 in 50 of all people who die under the age of 60 die from a brain tumour.

·       71% of those that die of a brain tumour are under the age of 75 (compared to 47% for all cancers).

·       Brain tumours are responsible for over 20 years of life lost – more lethal than any other cancer

·       Unlike most other cancers, incidences and deaths from brain tumours are increasing.

·       At the current rate of spend, it could take 100 years for brain cancer to catch up with developments in other diseases and find a cure

 

Additional facts and statistics are available from Brain Tumour Research.


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