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

Migraines, Lipids and Sandpit workshops

Research:

Variants of the adeno-associated virus serotype 9 with enhanced penetration of the blood–brain barrier in rodents and primates The blood-brain-barrier (BBB) has always been a consideration when developing drugs for central nervous system diseases (CNS), such as brain tumours. It particularly hampers the development of gene therapies as there are not many transport mechanisms that can efficiently traverse it. A paper published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, has identified two adeno-associated virus (AAV9) variants, AAV.CPP.16 and AAV.CPP.21 which are more effective at introducing genetic material into the cells of the central nervous system when delivered systemically compared to AAV9. Additionally they demonstrated that AAV.CPP.16 can be used to deliver antitumour payloads in a mouse model of glioblastoma.

Mass spectrometry imaging discriminates glioblastoma tumour cell subpopulations and different microvascular formations based on their lipid profiles  This paper published in Scientific Reports, used high resolution mass spectrometry to investigate lipid heterogeneity in human glioblastoma samples. They identified multiple lipids within the glioblastoma microenvironment that warrant further investigation for the development of predictive biomarkers and lipid-based therapeutics.

Treatments:

Chronic convection-enhanced intratumoural delivery of chemotherapy for glioblastoma. In the Lancet, Eleonara F Spinazzi and colleagues present a first-in-human study of chronic convection-enhanced delivery (CED) of chemotherapy to five patients with recurrent glioblastoma. Paid content.

Fremanezumab Improved Migraine and Headache Attributed to Glioblastoma This paper details a case study of a 66 year old male with recurrent right temporoparietal glioblastoma, WHO Grade IV. The patient presented with both headaches and migraines attributable to his recurrent glioblastoma. They demonstrated that the use of the anti-migraine medication Fremanezumab reduced both headache and migraine frequency and intensity. The concluding remarks of the paper were “Fremanezumab may help improve the quality of life in end-of-life care among brain tumor patients, where headaches are often neglected”.

Opportunities:

The Technological innovation for understanding cancers of unmet need – sandpit workshop is now live and open to applications to attend.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) welcome applications from eligible researchers. The initiative aims to bring together researchers from diverse disciplines to drive co-development of innovative and high-risk high-reward technologies to understand hard-to-treat cancers. 

The focus will be on hard-to-treat cancers, including brain, lung, oesophageal, pancreatic, stomach and liver cancers, which have some of the poorest 5-year survival figures.

Opening date: 11 October 2022 - 09:00 UK time.

Closing date: 8 November 2022 -16:00 UK time.

Funding type: Grant

Total Fund: £2,500,000

Maximum award: £500,000

Related reading:

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