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

What is the most common type of adult brain tumour?

Whilst glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common form of high-grade brain tumour, meningiomas are the most commonly diagnosed form of adult primary brain tumour overall. They account for approximately 30-37% of all adult central nervous system tumours, and around 90% are low-grade (slow-growing), which means that patients can live with these tumours and their effects for many years.

Whilst our Brian Tumour Research Centre at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) focuses on GBM, our  Brain Tumour Research Centre at University of Plymouth is the UK’s leading research institution for meningioma, as well as other low-grade brain tumours such as gliomas and  schwannomas.

Meningiomas  develop in the meninges: the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. They are nearly twice as common in females than in males, rising to being three times more common in females between the ages of 35 and 54 years. The incidence of meningioma increases with age and there is a notable increase after the age of 65.

Connections between female hormones and meningiomas are being explored by research teams across the globe, and in Plymouth the team is leading the field in research into a condition called Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2)   This dreadful disease can cause multiple meningiomas, ependymomasacoustic neuromas  and other forms of schwannoma  in children and teenagers, and finding successful ways to treat NF2 is highly likely to cross over into a cure for these tumours in all age groups.

Professor Oliver Hanemann who leads the Brain Tumour Research Centre at University of Plymouth is also in the final stages of development for a blood test that should reduce the need for repeated scans and biopsies for meningioma patients. He and his team are constantly testing potential new and repurposed drug treatments, as well as identifying new ways to tackle this challenging tumour type including studying immunity and inflammation.

Click here to discover more about the meningioma work in Plymouth.

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