New treatments for glioma


Gliomas (primary brain tumours) remain amongst the most lethal tumours in adults and children.

The current treatments that we use, including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, very rarely cure these tumours and patients usually die within 14 months. The work described in this proposal seeks to test new ways of treating these tumours, particularly with drugs or biological agents that can be used alongside current radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments.

Plan of work

We are using approaches that mirror as closely as possible what happens in the clinic to test new treatments in mice. In most experiments we will use tissue derived directly from brain tumour patients grown in the brains of mice, where these tumours behave like the original tumour. We will treat and monitor these animals very carefully using radiotherapy and chemotherapy exactly like those used in the clinic and using the same sorts of scans including CT and MRI scans. We will add potential new treatments to radiotherapy and chemotherapy in a way that can also be used in patients. This will include adding new drugs or other biologically active agents that we have tested in the laboratory and shown to be effective in stopping the growth of brain cancer cell lines. We will use the most promising of these in experiments in mice to allow us to judge whether these treatments should be tested in early phase clinical studies in patients.

Animal welfare

We will make best use of results from previous work and from experiments that don’t need animals to design the most efficient experiments in mice. By using very accurate radiotherapy and state of the art imaging equipment we will significantly reduce side effects from this treatment since we can avoid exposing normal tissue around the tumour to radiotherapy. By using accurate but non-invasive ways of following the tumours after treatment we will minimise the numbers of procedures that each animal has to go through as well as reducing the numbers of animals that we need to treat.

Non-technical summary 

Read new treatments for glioma non-technical summary (PDF).

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