Close navigation

Adult brain tumour research projects

Current high grade brain tumour research projects

Here are the research projects we are currently funding that relate to understanding or treating high grade brain tumours in adults

Dr Gelareh Zadeh

Targeting clinically challenging meningiomas

share this

Dr Gelareh Zadeh

Targeting clinically challenging meningiomas

Dr Zadeh and the team are investigating what make clinically aggressive meningiomas (CAMs) and radiation induced meningiomas (RIMs) different, and hard to treat.

Find out more

share this

Prof. Susan Short

Cancer-killing viruses offer fresh hope in the fight against high grade gliomas

share this

Professor Susan Short

Cancer-killing viruses offer fresh hope in the fight against high grade gliomas

Professor Susan Short and her team are studying a non-toxic virus which only 'invades' and kills tumour cells. The viruses can also be primed with anti-cancer drugs to increase their destructive potential.

New methods to deliver drugs to the brain are urgently needed as many drugs are unable to reach the tumour site as they cannot pass through the protective barrier that separates the brain from the bloodstream. Current treatments also cause serious side effects as the do not target the tumour specifically and therefore damage healthy cells.

Find out more

share this

Dr Lucy Stead

Using nanobiopsy to see how tumours change during treatment

share this

Dr Lucy Stead

Using nanobiopsy to see how tumours change during treatment

This project is using advanced technology called nanobiopsy to extract tiny samples from living cells without killing them.

Over the course of treatment, the team - led by Dr Lucy Stead at University of Leeds - will be able to take samples to see how the tumour changes.

Find out more

share this

Dr Khuloud Al-Jamal

Delivering gene-editing technology to tumour cells across the blood brain barrier

share this

Dr Khuloud Al-Jamal

Delivering gene-editing technology to tumour cells across the blood brain barrier

CRISPR/Cas9 is a gene-editing tool that has been hailed as a revolution in genetic engineering. This powerful technology can be used to seek out specific pieces of tumour-causing DNA and cut them to cause tumour cell death. However, one of the major challenges in delivering this tool is overcoming the blood brain barrier (BBB).

Find out more

share this

Prof. Thomas Wurdinger

Investigating combined drug treatments

share this

Professor Thomas Wurdinger

Investigating combined drug treatments

This collaboration, being led from Amsterdam, will also involve UK researchers from the University of Cambridge, the Sanger Institute and IOTA Pharmaceuticals. They will be looking at existing drugs in different combinations. They have sophisticated software that will analyse already-licensed drugs to see which ones could work together to treat Glioblastoma (GBM).

Find out more

share this

Dr Steve Pollard

Linking glioblastomas to DNA-protein parcels

share this

Dr Steve Pollard

Linking glioblastomas to DNA-protein parcels

Dr Pollard and his group are exploiting the latest genome editing technologies that have opened up new opportunities for understanding the biology of glioblastomas (GBM).


Find out more

share this

Dr Vincenzo D'Angiolella

Targeting glioblastoma cell metabolism

share this

Dr Vincenzo D'Angiolella

Targeting glioblastoma cell metabolism

This grant aims to explore and target the increased metabolism of glioblastoma (GBM) cells which allow them to grow so quickly. In normal, healthy cells a lot of genes can cause metabolism to increase or decrease, speeding up or slowing down the cell’s growth.

This research project will help to improve our knowledge of the differences between healthy brain tissue and tumour cells. It will help us better understand the underlying mechanisms driving aggressive glioblastomas, and identify ways in which we can disrupt these interactions with drugs to slow tumour growth.

Find out more

share this

Dr Sebastian Serres

Does STAT3 help form a barrier around GBM?

share this

Dr Sebastian Serres

Does STAT3 help form a barrier around GBM?

This research will allow the study of how tumour cells interact with the surrounding healthy brain. Dr Serres and his team have recently discovered that astrocytes, brain cells that form a physical bridge between neurons and blood vessels, may play a key role in the tumour’s interaction with the healthy brain.

Find out more

share this

Dr Adam Waldman

Predicting patient survival - a new method of MRI

share this

Dr Adam Waldman

Predicting patient survival - a new method of MRI

Researchers at Imperial College London have developed a new MRI scanning technique that will accurately measure how a tumour is responding to therapy.

The team, led by Dr Adam Waldman, have developed a technique called Diffusion Weighted Imaging (DWI) which measures the properties of water in both the tumour and surrounding brain to detect changes in growth. These changes can be identified at an earlier stage using DWI in comparison with standard MRI.

This technique will now be trialled in newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients across five different brain tumour research centres to confirm whether DWI is a more reliable method than standard MRI.

Find out more

share this

Dr Thomas Millner

Understanding the events initiating glioblastoma

share this

Dr Thomas Millner

Understanding the events initiating glioblastoma

In order to treat glioblastomas, it is important to understand the characteristics and the events initiating this tumour type. As part of his clinical research training fellowship, Dr Thomas Millner is researching epigenetic modifications, an important aspect of glioblastoma development.

Find out more

share this

Dr Gregor Hutter

Manipulating the tumour's environment

share this

Dr Gregor Hutter

Manipulating the tumour's environment

The environment in which a tumour exists contains several different types of cells. Some of these cell types support tumour growth and promote its spread to other parts of the brain. Microglia are one of the cell types that play an important role in supporting tumour growth. However, researchers have shown that it's possible to manipulate and reprogramme microglia to have an anti-cancer function.

The aim of Dr Hutter's research is to use a combination of drugs to reprogramme microglia to kill glioblastoma cells.

Find out more

share this

Prof. Colin Watts

Amplifying drug delivery across the blood brain barrier using injectable gels

share this

Professor Colin Watts

Amplifying drug delivery across the blood brain barrier using injectable gels

Professor Colin Watts and his team at the University of Cambridge are testing drug-containing gels as a new delivery method for the treatment of high grade brain tumours.

Find out more

share this

Prof. Colin Watts

Tessa Jowell BRAIN MATRIX

share this

Professor Colin Watts

Tessa Jowell BRAIN MATRIX

The Tessa Jowell BRAIN-MATRIX is a first-of-its-kind clinical trial that will enable doctors to treat brain tumours with drugs that are more targeted than ever before. We are excited to be investing £2.8 million to set the trial up, and to drive it into the future.

Although the trial is being led from the UK, we expect it to deliver global impact for brain cancer patients.

Find out more

share this

Dr Paulo Ribeiro

Studying the interaction between genetically different cells in glioblastoma tumour

share this

Dr Paulo Ribeiro

Studying the interaction between genetically different cells in glioblastoma tumour

Dr Ribeiro and his team aim to develop a genetic tool called OncoChrome to study tumour heterogeneity in fruit flies. This tool will be used to tag genes with a fluorescent marker, allowing the team to track cells with the fluorescent genes to look at how tumour heterogeneity influences tumour progression.


Find out more

share this

Dr Phedias Diamandis

Using computers to make more accurate diagnoses

share this

Dr Phedias Diamandis

Using computers to make more accurate diagnoses

In 2016 the World Health Organisation (WHO) released their new recommendations on how to diagnose brain tumours. In addition to descriptions of how the different tumours look down the microscope, for the first time they included molecular tests for some types of tumour. This shows the value of new technologies in making more accurate diagnoses.

With this in mind, Dr Diamandis and his team will be developing a complex artificial intelligence (AI) program to provide a step change towards the next generation of diagnostic tools.

Find out more

share this

Dr Alasdair Rooney

Reducing the effects of fatigue

share this

Dr Alasdair Rooney

Reducing the effects of fatigue

In researching our quality of life publication, Losing Myself: The Reality of Life with a Brain Tumour, we found that fatigue was a factor in two out of every 3 people with a brain tumour, and that for 40% of people rated their fatigue as severe. The work by Dr Rooney and his colleagues will aim to address this through an intervention study.

Find out more

share this

Prof. Martin van den Bent

Updating a major clinical trial

share this

Prof. Martin van den Bent

Updating a major clinical trial

This grant will enable new analysis of an ongoing international clinical trial, which will impact on the future of clinical trials for people diagnosed with anaplastic glioma.

This research project will play an important role by informing the prognosis for people with anaplastic gliomas. It will also help tailor treatments by identifying which people would benefit from more or less intense treatment and improve quality of survival.

Find out more

share this

Dr Lee Wong

Investigating tumour initiating events

share this

Dr Lee Wong

Investigating tumour initiating events

Previous research has demonstrated that chromatin regulation is often disrupted in many cancers. Mutations, or changes, in histone proteins leads to the initiation of many cancers, including gliomas.

The aim of the research, led by Dr Wong, is to understand the role of a specific histone protein, called H3.3, and how changes in this protein drive tumour growth.

Survival rates for individuals diagnosed with gliomas depend on a host of factors, but only 19% of adults diagnosed with a brain tumour survive for five years after their diagnosis. So it’s important that further research is done to inform our understanding of how and why these tumours start.

Find out more

share this

Current low grade brain tumour research projects

Here are the research projects we are currently funding that relate to understanding or treating low grade brain tumours in adults

Dr Marion Smits

Monitoring Low grade tumour progression

share this

Dr Marion Smits

Monitoring Low grade tumour progression

Previous research has shown that in parts of a tumour where the cells are multiplying rapidly, there’s a build-up of certain proteins. This project will use a new and non-invasive imaging technique called Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST) to visualise and measure protein build-up in low grade diffuse gliomas.

By measuring and monitoring protein build-up, researchers hope to be able to detect tumour growth and progression sooner and create more effective treatment plans.

Find out more

share this

Prof. Colin Watts

Tessa Jowell BRAIN MATRIX

share this

Professor Colin Watts

Tessa Jowell BRAIN MATRIX

The Tessa Jowell BRAIN-MATRIX is a first-of-its-kind clinical trial that will enable doctors to treat brain tumours with drugs that are more targeted than ever before. We are excited to be investing £2.8 million to set the trial up, and to drive it into the future.

Although the trial is being led from the UK, we expect it to deliver global impact for brain cancer patients.

Find out more

share this

Dr Paul Brennan

Uncovering tumour transition

share this

Dr Paul Brennan

Uncovering tumour transition

Dr Brennan is looking at how and why some low grade gliomas change into high grade gliomas.

By undertaking tests on low grade cells, he hopes to define the biomarkers (indicators, such as genes, molecules or other biological substances found in blood or cells, which can be used to measure or diagnose a tumour) that are changing the cells.

Find out more

share this

Dr Phedias Diamandis

Using computers to make more accurate diagnoses

share this

Dr Phedias Diamandis

Using computers to make more accurate diagnoses

In 2016 the World Health Organisation (WHO) released their new recommendations on how to diagnose brain tumours. In addition to descriptions of how the different tumours look down the microscope, for the first time they included molecular tests for some types of tumour. This shows the value of new technologies in making more accurate diagnoses.

With this in mind, Dr Diamandis and his team will be developing a complex artificial intelligence (AI) program to provide a step change towards the next generation of diagnostic tools.

Find out more

share this

Dr Alasdair Rooney

Reducing the effects of fatigue

share this

Dr Alasdair Rooney

Reducing the effects of fatigue

In researching our quality of life publication, Losing Myself: The Reality of Life with a Brain Tumour, we found that fatigue was a factor in two out of every 3 people with a brain tumour, and that for 40% of people rated their fatigue as severe. The work by Dr Rooney and his colleagues will aim to address this through an intervention study.

Find out more

share this

Prof. Linda Sharp

Self-management for improved quality of life

share this

Professor Linda Sharp

Self-management for improved quality of life

Professor Sharp and her team will start by looking at the research that has been done into self-management programmes for other cancers, as well as those used currently by brain tumour survivors.

She will look for the aspects of these previous or existing programmes to determine which worked best.

Find out more

share this

Dr Lee Wong

Investigating tumour initiating events

share this

Dr Lee Wong

Investigating tumour initiating events

Previous research has demonstrated that chromatin regulation is often disrupted in many cancers. Mutations, or changes, in histone proteins leads to the initiation of many cancers, including gliomas.

The aim of the research, led by Dr Wong, is to understand the role of a specific histone protein, called H3.3, and how changes in this protein drive tumour growth.

Survival rates for individuals diagnosed with gliomas depend on a host of factors, but only 19% of adults diagnosed with a brain tumour survive for five years after their diagnosis. So it’s important that further research is done to inform our understanding of how and why these tumours start.

Find out more

share this

Headline Created with Sketch. Diagnosed? newly

Our free Brain Tumour Information Pack has been designed to help you feel confident when discussing treatment and care options with your medical team.