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

Weekly pick of Neuroscience news from around the world

This week’s big cancer story is about children being denied new cancer drugs and was covered by the BBC.

 When clinicians talk about “brain mets” they are talking about cancers that move to the brain from another, primary site often leading to a vastly diminished prognosis – a high number of cancers do this so this article is of interest and details how lymphoma cells metastasize to the brain.

There is a lot of brain tumour work being undertaken Heidelberg University in Germany, and a neurologist at the University is part responsible for the research reported here on how deadly brain cancers act like 'vampires' by hijacking normal cells to grow.

While current immunotherapy drugs are effective for several types of cancers, they do not work on glioblastomas. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego look to have found a way to combine ultrasound with engineered glass particles to boost the effectiveness of immunotherapy in glioblastomas which has previously been ineffective because the disease blocks white blood cells from entering the tumour. 

More research from the US in this case Stanford where high grade gliomas have been discovered to form synapses that hijack electrical signals from healthy nerve cells to drive their own growth. Interrupting these signals with an existing anti-epilepsy drug greatly reduced the cancers' growth in human tumours in mice, providing the first evidence for a possible new way to these HGG’s.

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