Professor Neil Carragher, from the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre, has been awarded £6.3 million to develop new treatments for glioblastomas.
The Brain Tumour Award will allow Professor Carragher and a team of scientists from the UK and the US to carry out pioneering research into glioblastoma biology that hasn’t been explored until now.
This aims to reveal new drug targets and help develop better treatments and efficient ways to deliver them.
Professor Carragher’s research
Professor Carragher will work with scientists from the University of Oxford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States to identify new drug targets and drug combinations to treat glioblastoma.
The team will use a new approach of testing libraries of drugs on glioblastoma stem cells derived from patient samples, which have been characterised by genetic mutations that are driving the disease.
The scientists will see how the cancer cells respond to different drug combinations, which could help guide which drug combinations work for which type of patient depending on their genetic changes.
The researchers will also look at using tiny particles called nanoparticles, which can help deliver drugs across the blood-brain barrier. This is a membrane that keeps a tight check on anything trying to get in to the brain, including drugs, and a major challenge in developing new treatments for brain tumours.
Professor Carragher said: “We’re delighted to have received this Brain Tumour Award. Such a substantial amount of funding allows us to make huge strides in finding the best treatment for each patient, giving them a better chance of survival.
“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.”
About the awards
The Cancer Research UK Brain Tumour Awards in partnership with The Brain Tumour Charity, aim to help advance our understanding about the biology of the disease and the challenges translating discoveries into treatments.
They are the largest awards specifically designed for brain tumour research in the UK. Cancer Research UK committed £15 million to the Brain Tumour Awards, and The Brain Tumour Charity committed £3 million.
Sarah Lindsell, our chief executive, said: “Brain tumours are indiscriminate. They strike people of all ages and they devastate too many lives around the world.
“Our investment in the Brain Tumour Awards is a key part of the research we’re funding globally to accelerate progress towards our twin goals: to double brain tumour survival and halve the harm caused by the disease.
“Our partnership with CRUK in creating and sustaining the Brain Tumour Awards underlines the commitment of both charities to bring about change for everyone diagnosed with brain cancer.”