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Research News

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

New GBM group and radiation reviews

Research:

Researchers at our Centre of Excellence at Queen Mary University of London have identified a proportion of glioblastoma (GBM) tumours which have unique features which could help inform tailored treatment choices for patients. The study, published in eLife this week, demonstrated that the newly identified group of GBM tumours appear to share similar developmental characteristics to astrocyte progenitors, and have an increased ability to invade surrounding tissue and contain different proportions of immune cells compared to other GBM tumours. 

Enzyme that drives growth of medulloblastoma may hold the key to future treatment Published in Cancer Cell, researchers have discovered that blocking an enzyme called dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) stopped the growth of MYC-gene amplified medulloblastoma in mouse models, without interfering with surrounding normal neural stem cells. They suggested it could be an unappreciated therapeutic strategy and a potential new class of treatments with stronger cancer selectivity, resulting in fewer neurotoxic side-effects. 

Women With Glioblastoma May Be More Likely to Benefit From Immunotherapy Published in Neuro-Oncology, this study looked to examine the differential effects of immunotherapy treatment between the sexes for patients with glioblastoma. They reported that female glioblastoma patients treated with immunotherapy had a statistically significant survival advantage at 1-year compared to males, an effect that was even more pronounced with vaccine-based immunotherapy. Recommendations included making patient sex data available for all GBM clinical trials in order to fully understand this effect. 

Treatment:

Enterome's OncoMimics™ peptide-based immunotherapy EO2401 generates and maintains elevated anti-tumour T cell responses for more than 10 months in patients with recurrent glioblastoma Enterome, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing immunomodulatory drugs, report that EO2401 in combination with nivolumab +/- bevacizumab for recurrent glioblastoma is well tolerated and provides strong systemic immune response correlating with clinical efficacy. 

Reviews: 

Re-irradiation of Paediatric Medulloblastoma: A Case Report and Systematic Review Despite the optimal treatment given to children with medulloblastoma, many relapses are seen after combining treatments. This review looked into of the role of re-irradiation in the treatment of recurrent medulloblastoma and concludes that it can be a safe ‘salvage’ treatment for locally-relapsed disease, offering improved clinical outcomes for children. However, a longer follow-up time period is required to examine long-term survival outcomes.  

Health-related quality of life and clinical outcome after radiotherapy of patients with intracranial meningioma  This study, published in Scientific Reports, was a retrospective, single-institutional investigation which looked into the outcomes for meningioma patients after radiotherapy. They discussed that in their cohort of mostly advanced or relapsed meningioma patients, radiotherapy showed excellent prognosis with regard to overall survival, first sign of progression after irradiation and acceptable health-related quality of life, with low physician-reported toxicity.

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