Sanger researchers to tackle deadly brain cancer with ‘tissue time machine’

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Researchers at the Sanger Institute are starting work on a Wellcome Leap programme, as part of the ‘Delta Tissue’ or ‘tissue time machine’ project.  

The project aims to profile the state of cells and tissues and predict the transition between states.

The team, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Cambridge, the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) and The Francis Crick Institute, will profile glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumours using the latest genomic techniques. The work will provide detail about the states of these cancer cells and their tissue microenvironment, and it is hoped it will uncover new targets for treatment development.

Recent research has found that different states are highly dynamic in GBM, with cells transitioning from one state to another throughout tumour development, as well as in disease relapse after therapy.

Sue Farrington Smith MBE, our Chief Executive, said: “This is good news which I’m sure will be welcomed by the brain tumour community. This substantial investment moves the research focus up a notch in GBM and such a high-profile institutional effort provides a huge stimulus for the research community.

“This project complements the work being undertaken by Professor Silvia Marino and her team at our Centre of Excellence at Queen Mary University of London which is focused on using GBM stem cells to help develop unique, patient-specific treatments. A GBM diagnosis is devastating and we must continue to invest in this ground-breaking research in order to improve outcomes and, ultimately, find a cure.”

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