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

First steps towards UK GBM clinical trial

Work is underway to take forward exciting findings which could improve outcomes for patients diagnosed with glioblastoma (GBM). 

The team at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at Imperial College, London, is developing a robust protocol for a ‘window of opportunity’ clinical trial. This type of trial allows a drug of interest to be given to a patient over a short period of time prior to the instigation of standard of care treatment. 

In the project named WISTERIAN, funded by Brain Tumour Research, Dr Matt Williams and the team are writing the trial protocol and gathering the additional data required to secure external funding for the clinical trial. 

The study would see patients treated with a drug called ADI-PEG20 in combination with radiotherapy prior to surgery, before continuing down the route of standard care. 

It aims to build on exciting findings from our Imperial Research Centre where ADI-PEG20 was shown to improve the efficacy of radiotherapy. The drug depletes arginine – an amino acid which is critical for the growth and survival of human cancers. Results from pre-clinical models suggest that by reducing the supply of arginine, GBM tumours are much more susceptible to radiotherapy. 

Dr Karen Noble, our Director of Research, Policy and Innovation, said: “This is a significant step towards a much-needed clinical trial for patients with this currently incurable, aggressive tumour type. There is still a lot of work to do in this area but together we will find a cure.”

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