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National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £30-35 million a year

More precise and less aggressive treatments for childhood brain cancer

More precise and less aggressive treatments for childhood brain cancer

According to a study reported in Lancet Oncology and on the BBC News today, there are seven types of medulloblastoma – a finding that could lead towards better targeted, “kinder” treatments.

Medulloblastoma, one of the most common forms of malignant childhood brain cancers, affect about 70 to 80 children a year in the UK. These high grade tumours occur in the cerebellum and are most frequent in children between the ages of three and eight.  Because of their aggressiveness, they often require intensive treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and can leave the young patients with life-changing side-effects.

The scientific breakthrough means targeted and personalised treatments could be developed according to the specific biological characteristics of each individual tumour.

Our Head of Research, Dr Kieran Breen, said: “The discovery of seven novel, clinically significant subgroups improves disease risk-stratification and could inform treatment decisions. This data provide a new foundation for future research and clinical investigations.”

Photo © Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Centre

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