New treatments for brain tumours: we need to think differently

"Developing a new drug is hugely expensive. The whole process – from initial laboratory tests through clinical trials to licensing for use in humans (if it gets that far) – is time-consuming and often frustrating.

In my field of brain tumour research, the challenges are particularly tough.

We are starting from a low base - until recently there has been little investment in this area – and there are unique problems in delivering effective drug treatments across the blood-brain barrier.

That's why I believe we need to think differently about identifying drugs to help brain tumour patients.

What if treatments already being used safely against other diseases could have an impact on brain tumours? Shouldn't we make it easier and more worthwhile to work out if those drugs could help brain tumour patients?

It's a process known as repurposing and it's the subject of a Parliamentary Bill – that is, a proposed new law – which aims to make it happen more often."

Professor Susan Short is a researcher at Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology. She has written a blog, detailing her experiences and thoughts on research into finding a cure for brain tumours. Read the full piece by clicking here.