National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £35 million a year
Questioning yearly re-scanning, vision recovery and GLOW
Yearly re-scanning not needed for common brain tumour detected in 1 in 10 The largest study of its kind has been published in the European Journal of Endocrinology looking at clinical data on a type of tumour in the pituitary gland in the brain. The common growth, called a non-functioning pituitary microadenoma (NFPA), is less than 1cm across and is predicted to affect around 10% of the population, usually causing no symptoms. In the UK-wide study, 419 people were monitored for NFPAs across 23 specialist sites. A team of endocrinologists from the University of Birmingham found that NFPAs were almost twice as likely to shrink or disappear by themselves as to grow within the first three years of monitoring. Following the results, the UK NFPA Consortium suggests that a single scan three years after initial detection would a safe and more cost-effective way to manage NFPAs.
The treatment efficacy of radiotherapy for optic nerve sheath meningioma Optic nerve sheath meningioma (ONSM) is a rare benign tumour that accounts for approximately 2% of all orbital tumours. Radiotherapy has gradually become an important treatment for ONSM because of its good effect in preserving or improving vision. This study, published in Eye, aimed to explore the effect of radiotherapy on tumour control and vision preservation/improvement in patients with ONSM. They concluded that probability of vision recovery is lower in patients with severe vision loss at diagnosis or the duration of vision loss is more than 12 months.
Molecule Takes on Deadly Cancer by Inhibiting ‘Unfolded Protein Response’ This study, published in iScience, introduces a new compound that was shown to sensitise glioblastoma to temozolomide. Z4P is an IRE1 inhibitor which was shown to permeate the blood-brain barrier (BBB), inhibit glioblastoma growth, and prevent relapse in animal models when administered together with TMZ. IRE1 is a pro-survival signalling mediator, which has made it an attractive target for a variety of cancer types over the years. The researchers concluded that Z4P is a promising option that requires further lab investigations.
The GLOW (Glioblastoma Targeted Treatment Option Maximisation by Whole Genome Sequencing) study has launched in the Netherlands. The study will use whole genome sequencing to map DNA in glioblastoma cells and compare to the patient's ‘normal’ DNA taken from a blood sample. The study aims to investigate the feasibility, validity, utility and value of whole genome sequencing for recurrent glioblastoma patients, revealing potentially novel targets for therapy for these patients.
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