Scientists receive £12m for brain tumour research

Edinburgh scientists have been awarded more than £12 million to find new ways to treat brain tumours.

Professor Steven Pollard and Professor Neil Carragher from the University’s Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre have been awarded £5.8 million and £6.3 million respectively.

The money – from Cancer Research UK and the Brain Tumour Charity – will support fundamental research and help develop new treatments for the most common type of brain tumour, called glioblastoma.

Pioneering research

Every year in Scotland around 1,000 people are diagnosed with brain tumours, and around 470 people in Scotland die from them.

Brain tumours are one of the hardest types of cancer to treat because not enough is known about what starts and drives the disease. This makes it difficult to translate discoveries in the lab to treatments for patients.

Professor Pollard will lead a team of scientists from the UK, the US and Canada in conducting pioneering research into glioblastoma biology. 

We want to deeply explore the cellular processes that glioblastoma depends on to develop and grow. This information is critical if we are to develop newer and better treatments and to stop brain tumours from returning. The funding will help us build on our existing infrastructure and grow the UK research community. We will be working with many brilliant scientists who don’t normally focus on brain tumour research to help us stimulate new thinking and fresh approaches to tackling brain cancer.

Professor Steven Pollard

Bringing hope

Professor Carragher, meanwhile, will work with scientists from the University of Edinburgh, University of Oxford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States to identify new drug targets and drug combinations to treat glioblastoma.

We urgently need to develop therapies for brain tumours that tackle treatment resistance and relapse, and with less toxicity for a better quality of life for patients. By addressing these challenges, we hope to improve survival and bring new hope to people with brain tumours and their families.

Professor Neil Carragher

Related links

Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre

Cancer Research UK

The Brain Tumour Charity

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