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

Weekly pick of brain tumour research news from around the world

Brain metastases occur in 20-40% of all patients with cancer but treatments are limited and prognosis poor. One of the challenges in treating brain metastases is the inability of many drugs to penetrate the blood-brain barrier into tumour tissue however here researchers hypothesise that radiotherapy could disrupt the blood-brain barrier and allow drugs to pass through and reach the tumour.

The first sign of a brain tumour is often a seizure. Such seizures have long been considered a side effect of the tumour however cancer researchers studying brain tumours have found evidence that the seizures caused by an enlarging brain  tumour could spur its deadly progression.

The drug Bevacizumab acts against recurrent glioblastoma (GBM) however, acquired resistance to Bevacizumab results in tumour recurrence. This highly scientific paper investigates preventing acquired resistance to bevacizumab.

Cancers whose cells are riddled with large numbers of DNA mutations often respond favourably to drugs called checkpoint blockers that unleash the immune system against the tumour. But a new study shows that gliomas generally don't respond to the immunotherapy drugs even when the tumour cells are "hypermutated" The study also showed how treatment with the temozolomide -- the standard chemotherapy for gliomas -- can lead to the tumours becoming hypermutated and resistant to further treatment. The researchers said the results don’t suggest that temozolomide should not be used in glioma patients, but that once resistance develops, further treatment with temozolomide won’t be effective. Instead, they showed that treatment with another chemotherapy drug, lomustine, seemed to still be effective.

A possible new drug has been identified that has the potential to help prevent cognitive decline in people who undergo radiation for the treatment of a brain tumour, without taking away from the efficacy of the radiation treatment.

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