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

Weekly pick of Neuroscience news from around the world

Students from the University of Findlay in Ohio, USA have developed a new chemical compound called RK15. RK15 is also showing signs of being effective at killing glioblastoma cells. The new drug, an oral compound, seems capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, something that most drugs cannot achieve. This may mean that other medications could be attached to RK15 to get them into the brain. Although promising, it is important to note that these findings have not been described in a peer-reviewed scientific paper and RK15 has not been tested in animals (let alone humans). Many compounds at this stage of development will not make it to approval as drugs.

A new mathematical model has been developed, which authors claim to optimise the effects of radiotherapy in brain tumours patients. The model would help oncologists and radiotherapists target the densest part of the brain tumour in order to kill more cancerous cells.

Scientists from the University of Barcelona, have discovered a particular gene, called NSUN5, that may be linked to gliomas. If certain differences are present in NSUN5, for around 15% of patients this can indicate they will have a good prognosis.

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