Plymouth University partners with Brain Tumour Research

Sat 17 May 2014

Patients, carers, scientists, clinicians and charities from across the UK are headed to Westminster on the 4th March for the launch of a ground-breaking new collaborative partnership between the charity Brain Tumour Research and Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry. The announcement opens a new chapter in long-term sustainable and continuous research into the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40.

Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry has become an active research and fundraising partner with Brain Tumour Research with the charity supporting research and supplying dedicated members of staff with expertise in fundraising, marketing and PR to work at both local and national levels alongside existing teams, creating a dynamic fundraising programme.

Plymouth is the leading centre in Europe for pioneering research into low-grade brain tumours, in particular, meningioma and ependymoma. The research team has a strong track record in brain tumour research, particularly in low-grade brain tumours occurring in teenagers and adults. Through this partnership with Brain Tumour Research, Professor Oliver Hanemann and team will focus on bench-to-bedside translational research. By identifying and understanding the mechanism that make a cell become cancerous, he and his colleagues will explore ways in which to halt or reverse that mechanism.

At present the only treatment options for people with merlin deficient tumours are mainly invasive surgery or radiotherapy. By testing drugs in a fast track way Oliver and his team achieve the potential for making drug therapies available to patients both safely and faster.

The collaboration is part of the charity’s mission to establish seven Research Centres of Excellence across the UK, building a ‘critical mass’ of research teams and aiming to bring Britain to the forefront of brain tumour research.

Professor Hanemann said: “It is fantastic to be partnering with Brain Tumour Research. A funding strategy to support low-grade tumours is so important in the challenge to understand this complex condition. Based on our existing track record, we will be able to build the world’s most advanced bench-to-bedside translational medical research programme for low-grade brain tumours. Results from these genetically well-defined ‘simple’ brain tumours will also be invaluable for more genetically complex high-grade tumours, complementing research in other brain tumour centres.”

Professor Wendy Purcell, Vice-Chancellor and President of Plymouth University, said: “This partnership is recognition of Plymouth’s world-class expertise in brain tumour research and provides a platform for ongoing and sustained enquiry into this critical medical condition. We’re delighted to be working in collaboration with Brain Tumour Research, and we’re looking forward to putting into practice our distinctive bench-to-bedside approach.”

Source: Plymouth University. Accessed 17/05/14