Newcastle University scientist leads research project combating high-grade brain tumours in children

A research project that looks at combating high-grade brain tumours in children is being led by Newcastle University.

The research programme aims to develop better and more effective treatments for medulloblastoma (MB), the most common high-grade brain tumour in children.

Many children who do survive brain tumours are often left with severe, life-limiting disabilities as a result of the tumour and the aggressive treatments that are needed to save their lives.

Whilst many advances have been made in treating the most common childhood brain tumours, current treatments still fail in a proportion of cases.

Advances in standard treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy have helped to improve levels of survival overall but are ineffective against a specific gene - called 'MYC' - found in young people.

New therapies are therefore urgently needed to improve the outlook for children with high-risk medulloblastoma.

The new programme is being led by Professor Steve Clifford from Newcastle University Centre for Cancer, with the support of the INSTINCT research network, UCL Institute of Child Health and The Institute of Cancer Research.

Prof Clifford said: "We urgently need all-new treatment approaches for childhood cancer types with the poorest prognosis. 

"By bringing together the essential network of world-leading experts necessary to develop such approaches targeted specifically against tumour biology and bring them to the clinic, we aim to bring about a step-change in the treatment and outlook for these patients."

The research project is being co-funded through a collaboration of three charities: Children with Cancer UK, Blue Skye Thinking and Little Hero.

It aims to strengthen collaboration and funding across the childhood cancer community.

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