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

RNA, CPT’s, Aggresomes and GBM Agile Research news

  • A piece on the all-important discovery science to kick off this week as scientists claim that looking directly at the Ribonucleic acid (RNA) of brain tumour cells appears to provide objective, efficient evidence to better classify a tumour and the most effective treatments. This easy to read and fascinating piece explores the new approach introduced by the researchers who are producing what is termed a transcriptomic profile of the tumour which is particularly adept at recognising some of the most serious of these tumours
  • We don’t mention choroid plexus tumours (CPTs), a rare paediatric tumour, in these updates often, but they are the focus here.  For a cell to stay viable, it has to keep its proteins in shape. Proteins can quickly misfold under elevated stress or heat, and misfolded proteins lose their functionality and even clump into harmful aggregates. This item looks at how this aggregated waste in brain tumours can predict disease severity. Examination of 42 CPT tissues successfully identified a correlation between the percentage of tumour cells containing aggresomes and disease severity with tumours having more than 25% aggresome-positive cells being the most aggressive.
  • An optimistic view from the industry for the New Year next as, with the emerging research and developments for creating efficient and cost-effective treatments such as shunt placement chemotherapies, drug therapies and the launch of new medications, there is likely to be a significant growth in the global paediatric gliomas drugs market in 2021
  • It’s less good news from Australia where a first-of-its-kind study has revealed rates of brain lymphoma have quadrupled since the 1980s with only 33% of people surviving five years after receiving a diagnosis
  • In another first from Australia, a new drug candidate (Auceliciclib) has been discovered to treat glioblastoma. Head of Drug Discovery and Development at University of South Australia (UniSA) Prof Wang says “We already know that many cancers are driven by a family of enzymes called cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), so our drug has been specifically designed to target CDK activity”. Auceliciclib has two key advantages over other drugs in development; it is more target-specific and therefore appears to have lower toxicity, and it can reach cancer cells in the brain more effectively
  • As part of a patient-centred adaptive platform trial known as GBM AGILE (Glioblastoma Adaptive Global Innovative Learning Environment), multiple therapies for patients with newly-diagnosed and recurrent GBM are tested. Enrolment in GBM AGILE began in 2019 however, in a major step forward for GBM AGILE, the Henry Ford Cancer Institute is the first site in the world to activate two new treatments for glioblastoma. After opening at Henry Ford Cancer Institute, the two new interventions - VAL-083 from Kintara Therapeutics, Inc. and paxalisib from Kazia Therapeutics Limited- will subsequently open at more than 35 trial sites across the United States, with additional global sites in Canada, Europe and China to follow
  • A Virtual SNO Conference in July 15 entitled “Basic and Translational Omics of Brain Tumours and Their Microenvironment “ is now accepting abstracts
  • This week we began, and finish, with RNA news as researchers create a molecular 'Google map' of the brain using newly-developed technology enabling them to blow up tissues and detect the exact location of RNA molecules inside them, boosting efforts to advance treatment of complex diseases, as well as Alzheimer's and cancer research

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