Weekly pick of brain tumour research news from around the world

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NF1 affects about one in every 3,000 people. It is caused by any one of a variety of mutations in the NF1 gene and is something of great interest to our Plymouth research centre. They will no doubt be keen to read about new targets for childhood brain tumours identified  a study which indicates that the growth of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) brain tumours is driven by nearby noncancerous neurons and immune cells, and that targeting these immune cells could slow tumour growth.

A combination of radiation and the drug trifluoperazine,  a drug once commonly used to treat schizophrenia, not only targets glioblastoma cells but also helps overcome the resistance to treatment so common to this aggressive form of cancer.

Australian scientists have developed a tool to study how cells function in gliomas. Their conclusion is that “our results may help in the development of early markers for glioma and could be applied more broadly to other diseases with similar characteristics."

“Immune-mediated gene therapy may lead us to a safe and effective therapeutic approach for DIPG in the future,”  Welcome news in the fight against DIPG Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG. These tumours can’t be surgically removed due to their location on the brain stem. In addition, because of the presence of the blood-brain barrier, these tumours do not respond well to chemotherapy. Radiation is the most common treatment but it’s temporary, because the tumour grows back, and it isn’t the ideal option for the young, developing brains of small children. Some adult brain cancers, though, have responded to efforts to invigorate the immune system against the tumour, and this new study shows similar effects in animal models with one of the mutations that is present in human DIPG.

Finally click here to watch and listen to Dr. Mark Gilbert of the National Cancer Institute, share  the latest advancements in ependymoma research and treatment.

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