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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 is an absolutely fascinating development for a very sophisticated drug-release profile - new treatment for brain tumours uses electrospun fibre  - A novel engineering process can deliver a safe and effective dose of medicine for brain tumours without exposing patients to toxic side effects from traditional chemotherapy. A nanoelectronics laboratory in the US applied an industrial fabrication process called coaxial electrospinning to form drug-containing membranes. This treatment is then implanted directly into the part of the brain where the tumour has been surgically removed

On a similar topic is this research about improving drug delivery for brain tumour treatment which despite improvements in the mechanisms, has remained challenging. This is quite ‘sciencey’ but basically researchers have studied what affects effective drug penetration into brain tumours and have described two new approaches. One approach is to use microbubbles to help overcome vascular barriers within the tumours and improve nanoparticle penetration across the vessel wall. The second method uses ultrasound in combination with temperature-sensitive nanoparticles. The encouraging conclusion is that "Our results demonstrate that these therapeutic strategies can provide unique opportunities to improve the delivery of nanoparticles and their cargo in the brain and brain tumour microenvironment.”

The beast that is Glioblastoma has frequently proven resistant to our best clinical and surgical interventions  so a potential new treatment for chemotherapy resistant glioblastoma would be hugely welcome. Recent findings have shown that the lack of improvements in glioblastoma management and prognosis can partially be attributed to the presence of chemotherapy-resistant glioblastoma-initiating cells (GICs). As the name suggests, these cells are particularly resistant to chemotherapies and they have the capacity to form entirely new tumours. This study identified a potential new therapy for chemotherapy-resistant glioblastoma, a compound, called 10580 which at a molecular level prevents cancer cell division, survival, and tumour development. While 10580 administration did not exhibit short-term toxicity in mice, the compound may have long-term consequences and further research is necessary to fully characterize the short- and long-term safety profiles of 10580

Low grade tumour news now and a perioperative Study of Vorasidenib Shows Promise for Patients with Low-Grade Glioma. (Perioperative just means occurring or performed at or around the time of an operation). This is positive news about Vorasidenib – for those of you interested The suffix "nib,” which you will see in many of the drugs reported on here, indicates a small-molecule inhibitor ("nib" is verbal shorthand for "inhibit")

What a terrific “two birds with one stone” story this could be Epilepsy drug inhibits brain tumour development. Evidently medication prescribed for a certain type of epilepsy may offer a new method for treating malignant infantile brain tumours. The Swedish based lead researcher said “This is a very promising discovery and, if this precision medicine works on young children with medulloblastomas that do not respond to conventional treatment, it would of course be fantastic.”

Finally an app launched in the UK this week moving glioblastoma from terminal to treatable, powered by patients – Brain Tumour Research attended the launch and with the people involved this will be an important resource and a powerful voice in our community going forward.

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