Unique opportunity for surgery patients to help decode brain tumours

Patients facing surgery for certain types of brain tumour are being offered a unique opportunity to help scientists 'decode' the disease and unlock potential treatments for those affected in future.

Researchers want to gather tissue samples from people with high-grade brain tumours as part of the groundbreaking Genomics England programme.

Genomics England was created by the Government to explore the way our genetic make-up influences the development and progress of certain diseases.

Brain tumours were initially excluded but Genomics England announced a change of heart earlier this year.

“This is a truly valuable opportunity to help unlock better treatments for brain tumours. We will do whatever we can to help our community make the most of it." - David Jenkinson, Chief Scientific Officer, The Brain Tumour Charity

A drive has now begun to recruit at least 1,000 NHS adult patients who are about to undergo surgery for any type of glioma, or certain other types of brain tumour, and who will allow a sample of their tumour to be used for the project.

We are working with leading neurosurgeon Professor Keyoumars Ashkan and others to bring as many patients as possible on board.

Professor Ashkan said: “Understanding the genetic make-up of brain tumours will help us to understand why they are so hard to treat – and if we understand why, that may hold the key to developing new therapies."

“This will not make a difference to the treatment people receive today – but most patients are happy if they know they can help someone in the future.

We are encouraging anyone who is facing surgery for a high grade brain tumour in the UK to ask their care team about taking part in the Genomics England project.

We would also love to hear from you if you have already signed up. Let us know by emailing research@thebraintumourcharity.org