Edinburgh Cancer Research

Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence

Transforming the UK landscape for discovery and clinical evaluation of new brain cancer therapeutics


CRUK Glioma Centre of Excellence

Adult and paediatric brain cancers now account for more cancer deaths in the under 40’s than any other cancer, with adult gliomas accounting for the majority of the ~5000 cases of malignant brain tumours in the UK each year. However, scientific translation to the clinic is hampered by both a lack of a community of academic, science-minded specialist clinicians who work in neuro-oncology, and poor understanding of the key biological vulnerabilities to target therapeutically. At present, for both paediatric and adult brain cancers, there are no effective translational pipelines from basic research to clinical trials to enable evidence-led ‘smart’ clinical advances in a UK-wide network with global connections.

The Brain Cancer Centre of Excellence, a joint initiative of the University of Edinburgh (UoE) and the University College London (UCL), tackles the building of a new neuro-oncology community as a priority, with integration into our strong cancer research and training infrastructure at both UoE and the UCL. We work to establish a new translational pipeline that is built on a deeper biological understanding of brain cancer, translating biological and data-intensive health research and phenotypic-led drug discovery (in disease-relevant and predictive pre-clinical models) via a strong clinical community that is ready to perform state-of-the-art adaptive clinical studies. To fuel the pipeline, with additional funding for science in due course, we try to maximise new cross-disciplinary opportunities in data-driven innovation, imaging technologies and growing strengths in phenotypic drug discovery using patient-derived glioma cellular models.

In 5 to 10 years, we aim to have transformed the landscape across the UK for discovery, and clinical evaluation, of new brain cancer therapeutics.

Edinburgh Based Researchers Linked to the Brain Cancer Centre of Excellence

Professor Margaret Frame - Adhesion Protein Networks in Glioblastoma

Professor Steven Pollard Neural Stem Cells and Brain Cancer

Dr Sara Erridge -NHS Clinical Oncologist specialising in Neuro-Oncology

Professor Neil Carragher - Cancer Drug Discovery

Professor Chris Ponting - Computational and Disease Genomics

Professor Cathie Sudlow - Medical Informatics, Neurology and Clinical Epidemiology

Professor Sarah Walmsley - Hypoxia and Neutrophilic Inflammation in Brain Cancer

Professor Adam Waldman - Imaging Biomarkers in Adult Glioma

Dr Paul Brennan - Translational Neuro-surgery and Neuro-oncology

Dr Noor Gammoh - Brain Cancer Survival Pathways

Dr Dirk Sieger - Microglia-glioma Interactions 

Professor Asier Unciti-Broceta - Innovative Therapeutics

Key NHS Colleagues in Edinburgh

Dr Robin Grant - Causes, Treatment and Management of Glioma

Dr Jothy Kandasamy - Adult and Paediatric Neurosurgery

Dr Sharon Peoples - NHS Clinical Oncologist specialising in Neuro-Oncology

Dr Gerry Thompson - Neuroimaging research

Dr Stefan Symeonides - Drug Development and Early Phase Cancer Trials

Dr Ally Rooney - Psychiatry

Prof Colin Smith - Neuro-pathology

Dr Imran Liaquat - Neurosurgery and Neuro-Oncology

Affiliated Centres

Edinburgh Cancer Research (with close links to CRUK Scotland Centre) - https://www.ed.ac.uk/cancer-centre

Cancer Research UK-UCL Centre -  https://www.ucl.ac.uk/cancer/research/centres-and-networks/cancer-research-uk-ucl-centre

Edinburgh Centre for Neuro-Oncology -  http://www.neurooncology.scot.nhs.uk/index.php/specialist-centres/17-edinburgh-centre-for-neuro-oncology