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

Plymouth paper, gamma tiles and hypertension


Researchers at our Centre of Excellence at The University of Plymouth have been investigating the use of miRNA’s as part of liquid biopsies for meningioma diagnosis and classification. They have recently published a paper in the Journal of Neuro-oncology; miR-497 and 219 in blood aid meningioma classification. Their study showed that serum miR-497 is an effective and easy-to-measure biomarker for meningioma diagnosis and classification. Moreover, when used in combination, miR-497 and miR-219 showed enhanced accuracy in meningioma classification. Furthermore, this is the first study to evaluate the correlation between serum circulating miRNA and the methylation status in meningioma.

Astrocyte immunometabolic regulation of the tumour microenvironment drives glioblastoma pathogenicity. The authors in this paper identified a mechanism by which astrocytes participate in the control of TAM immunity and sustain the metabolic landscape necessary for tumour survival. Their findings shed new light on the pivotal role astrocytes play in promoting glioblastoma pathogenicity and the potential vulnerabilities caused by the tumour dependence on astrocyte immunometabolic support of the TME, thereby identifying candidate targets for therapeutic intervention. Click here to read the full paper.

TAM: Tumour-associated macrophages      TME: Tumour microenvironment


Retifanlimab, HFRT, and Bevacizumab Produce “Encouraging” Results in Recurrent Glioblastoma. The combination of retifanlimab, hypofractionated radiotherapy (HFRT), and bevacizumab has produced “encouraging” survival results in patients with recurrent glioblastoma, according to a presentation at ESMO Congress 2022.

Our study has shown promising overall response rate, with durable response,” said study presenter Jian Campian, MD, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “Interim analysis suggests encouraging progression-free survival and overall survival at the time of the data cut-off.”

To read the original paper, click here.

New Radiation Therapy Delays Brain Cancer Regrowth, Protects Healthy Tissue. The novel, FDA-cleared approach, called GammaTile, utilises small radiation seeds, or brachytherapy, which are implanted at the tumour site during surgery and naturally absorbed into the body to treat malignant and recurrent brain tumours, including gliomas, glioblastomas and meningiomas.​

Each therapeutic seed, approximately the size of a postage stamp, contains radiation sources embedded in a collagen tile that together deliver a precise, targeted dose of radiation. The radiation immediately begins targeting tumour cells in the area where the tumour is most likely to recur.

In a clinical trial patients had nearly twice as many tumour-free months compared to prior treatment for patients with recurring brain tumours located in the same area.​

Bevacizumab-Induced Hypertension as a Potential Physiological Clinical Biomarker for Improved Outcomes in Patients With Recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme: A Systematic Review.  This review aimed to evaluate six published studies to investigate the relationship between hypertension and the outcomes of patients with rGBM treated with bevacizumab. Among the included publications, four out of six were retrospective and featured a positive result regarding hypertension being used as an independent predictive factor of survival outcomes in rGBM. However, two studies showed negative results. This can be attributed to the limited subsets of patients and the duration of the studies. In conclusion, bevacizumab-induced hypertension may represent a prognostic factor in patients with rGBM.


Incisionless Brain Surgery - An upcoming CPD-accredited event from the Royal Society of Medicine. A lecture on innovative incisionless brain surgery techniques which are opening up new treatment pathways for patients suffering from both common and rare neurological conditions. 

Techniques covered include:

-        Stereotactic radiosurgery... including Gamma Knife surgery, which can be used to treat a range of conditions including tumours, lesions, epilepsy and trigeminal neuralgia

-        MR-guided focused ultrasound... which is currently being investigated for the treatment of tumours, tremors, stroke, neuropathic pain and more

Please see the event details here: Date: Tuesday 11th October 2022 Time: 5:00pm to 8:15pm (BST) Location: Online or in person at the Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, WIG 0AE.    Find out more and book the event here:

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