Amino Acid, the role of iron and joining the BNOS Council

3 min read

Combining amino acid PET and MRI imaging increases accuracy to define malignant areas in adult glioma. Accurate determination of the extent and grade of adult-type diffuse gliomas is critical to patient management. In clinical practice, contrast-enhancing areas of diffuse gliomas in MRI sequences are usually used to identify where biopsy, surgery, and radiation therapy should be targeted, but there can be discrepancies between these areas and the actual tumour extent. Published in Nature Communications, this paper shows that adding 18F-fluoro-ethyl-tyrosine positron emission tomography (FET-PET) to MRI sequences accurately locates the most malignant areas of contrast-enhancing gliomas, potentially impacting subsequent management and outcomes. In 30% cases, inclusion of FET-positive sites changes the biopsy result to a higher tumour grade. 

CARs in the brain: can we tackle glioblastoma with engineered NK cells?  This journal article, accepted by Neuro-oncology, discusses some of the limitations and challenges encountered whilst trying to treat glioblastoma with CAR-T cell immunotherapy, including the immunosuppressive tumour microenvironment as well as insufficient persistence of immune cells at the tumour site. The article introduces and explains the potential of using ‘natural killer’ (NK) cells in CAR immunotherapy as an alternative for glioblastoma patients.  

A Closer Look at the Role of Iron in Glioblastoma This review article examines the existing literature that investigates the role of iron in glioblastoma progression and patient outcomes, as well as provide a survey of iron's effects on major cell types found within the glioblastoma microenvironment at the molecular and cellular level. Iron represents an accessible target given the availability of already approved iron supplements and chelators. Improving our understanding of iron’s role in glioblastoma biology may pave the way for iron modulating approaches to improve patient outcomes. Published in Neuro-Oncology, behind a paywall.  

Researchers develop new method to find mutations in paediatric brain tumours. Published in the Journal PNAS is new research from Uppsala University where researchers are seeking to gain a comprehensive view of what mutations are important in medulloblastoma using a method that specifically looks at conserved positions in the genome and builds on the assumption that DNA sequences that have remained the same over millions of years of evolution are likely to have important functions. 


GIRFT Data for Neurosurgery now live in the Model Health System. More than 70 metrics for elective and non-elective care are available, as well as data for outpatient appointments and follow-ups. To access data for your provider, log in to and navigate to the neurosurgery compartment in ‘acute hospital services’.  Currently available for all NHS commissioners and providers in England. 

Nick Phillips, GIRFT’s clinical lead for cranial neurosurgery, said: “I am delighted to see the launch of these really important metrics for our specialty in one place and feel they will be of great interest to all clinicians and associates working in neurosciences.” 

BNOS are accepting applications from individuals who would be like to be considered for the following voluntary posts on BNOS Council: 

  • Neuro-oncology nurse representative   
  • Junior clinical representative 

This is an exciting time to join BNOS as we have recently become a registered charity and have ambitious plans for development – growing our membership, reaching a wider audience and delivering new events in addition to our annual conference. 
Posts are for an initial three-term year, with the possibility of re-election for a further three-years.  
As a Council member you will be expected to attend Council meetings which are held three times a year (a mixture of in person and virtual) as well as the Annual General Meeting (AGM) which is held during the BNOS Annual Conference.   

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