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

New research shows GBM’s turn good guys bad

The EMBO Journal, a high impact scientific publication, yesterday published a paper from our Queen Mary University of London centre that the lead author Professor Silvia Marino described as “realistically exciting”

Microglia are a type of neuroglia, or glial cell, located throughout the brain and spinal cord.

They are also scavenger cells, (cells responsible for detecting, engulfing and destroying pathogens – bad guys!) and act as one of the main forms of active immune defence in the central nervous system – microglia are usually the good guys.

However, GBM initiating cells have been found to trigger a reaction in the microglia that hinders effective T‐cell infiltration, proliferation and immune reactivity, thereby contributing to tumour immune evasion and promoting tumour growth. A group of molecules, known as mTOR pathway, play a crucial role in this. Essentially GBMs are turning the good guys around them, in the tumour microenvironment, bad!

Armed with this new knowledge, the team will now be further examining the mechanisms involved, looking at how to target the pathway that the GBM cells interfere with, in pre-clinical models, which if successful would pave the way for future clinical trials.

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