Craniopharyngiomas are low grade tumours which usually occur in children. Because of their location, near the pituitary gland and optic nerve, they can have a serious impact on quality of life.
Current treatment involves surgery and radiotherapy as there are no targeted treatments for this tumour type, which highlights the need for more research in this area.
Current craniopharyngioma research projects
Here are the research projects we are currently funding that relate to understanding or treating craniopharyngiomas.
Dr Todd Hankinson
Identifying directed therapies for Adamantinomatous Craniopharyngioma (ACP)
Adamantinomatous Craniopharyngioma (ACP) is a devastating brain tumour occurring in children. Due to the location of the tumour – near the pituitary gland, optic nerve and hypothalamus – it is associated with the worst quality of life scores of any childhood brain tumour.
ACP tumours are heterogeneous, which means they are made up of different types of cells. The aim of the research programme, led by Dr Todd Hankinson, is to understand the behaviour of the different types of cells and identify targets for treatment.
Other current research projects
Here are the research projects we are currently funding that relate to understanding or treatment of childhood brain tumours including craniopharyngiomas.
Dr David Jones
The Everest Centre
The Everest Centre is being financed by The Brain Tumour Charity with money raised by the family and friends of Toby Ritchie, who was diagnosed with a low grade brain tumour at the age of five.
The centre will fund several, vital research projects that will help us understand more about low grade paediatric brain tumours and trial new treatments.
Dr Jan Schuemann
Extreme dose rate proton therapy
Previous studies have shown that delivering radiotherapy extremely rapidly can dramatically reduce side-effects. Radiation therapy that delivers the same dose of radiation in a much shorter period of time is called extreme dose radiation (EDR). EDR therapy has not been tested using proton beams, and that’s where this innovative research project comes in.
The research team, led by Dr Schuemann, will use pre-clinical models to test EDR proton therapy with the aim of establishing a treatment regimen that’s effective and well-tolerated by people. They’ll compare EDR to conventional radiation delivery and look for any differences in side-effects, specifically looking into the effects on cognition and motor control.