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

Weekly pick of brain tumour research news from around the world

A paediatric focus to this week’s research news update.

Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant paediatric brain tumour. There are four genomic subgroups of the disease: WNT, SHH, Group 3 and Group 4. The SHH subgroup accounts for about 25% of all paediatric medulloblastoma cases. The five-year survival rate for SHH medulloblastoma is approximately 75%.

US investigators have found that the ABCC4 transporter is critical to the signalling pathway of the  SHH subgroup. Transporters are proteins found on the cell membrane. They help substances enter and exit cells. The researchers found that the ABCC4 transporter is highly expressed in SHH medulloblastoma. The research reports senior author "By teasing apart the relationship between ABCC4 and the SHH pathway, we've identified a novel strategy for potentially treating these tumours."

Widely reported and the subject of our Latest News post for Thursday was a newly released update on how babies with brain tumours could benefit from targeted treatment 

That report focussed on gliomas but returning to medulloblastoma and news that around 40 percent of children and young people who suffer from a subtype of medulloblastoma have a congenital genetic predisposition for it.

Finally, this week  research suggests that medication commonly used to treat non-small cell lung cancer that has spread may have benefits for patients with metastatic brain cancers.

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