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Reporting from the British Neuro-Oncology Society

Our Research Communications & Engagement Officer, Arshiya, shares some of the most exciting highlight from the 2019 annual British Neuro-Oncology Society (BNOS) conference.

BNOS took place earlier this month in London and was attended by experts working in neuro-oncology in the UK. Also in attendance were our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr David Jenkinson, as well as members from our Healthcare Engagement Team, Helen Hills and Shona Floyd.

This multisciplinary conference took place over three days and provided a fantastic opportunity for members of the charity to connect with the neuro-oncology community and attend various presentations, discussions, and debates on topics ranging from stem cells to neurosurgical techniques and quality of life.

Day 1 - Glioma Club

On the first day, the conference hosted “The Glioma Club”, a one-day meeting that brings together researchers and clinical scientists to speak about exciting on-going research projects in the UK neuro-oncology community. Additionally, there were several key-note speakers that were invited from across the world.

One of the keynote speakers was Dr Sheila Sing who presented her work on investigating tumour recurrence. Her research involves replicating the current standard of treatment for glioblastoma in pre-clinical models. She is then using a special marker to tag tumour cells that are left behind to help characterise them. Understanding the characteristics of these cells will help shed on light on why and how glioblastomas recur.

Another great presentation was given by Drs Raj Jena, Jasmin Fisher, and Simon Walker-Samuel. They presented on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in glioma research and treatment. They highlighted how AI tools were able to integrate large datasets, as well as analyse images to provide more accurate and efficient molecular diagnoses.

Day 2 – Living well with a brain tumour

The second day of the conference saw more great presentations on the management of meningiomas, as well as clinical trials testing repurposed drugs for people with affected by glioblastomas.

However, the highlight of this day was that our very own Healthcare Engagement Manager, Shona Floyd was part of the “Living Well” panel that focused on various aspects of living with a brain tumour. The issues discussed included fatigue and its management, as well as cognitive deficits.

On day two, the team were also joined by Amie Sutton, one of our Young Ambassadors, who recently completed her dissertation on brain tumour growth. She soaked up the talks, as well as the poster presentations and had a long conversation with Professor David Walker, who led the research underpinning HeadSmart.

Day 3 – BRAIN MATRIX

On the third day of BNOS, Professor Colin Watts gave an overview of The Tessa Jowell BRAIN-MATRIX, an adaptive clinical trial for people with a glioma. The talk generated a lot of buzz and was followed with questions about how other centres could get involved.

Professor Watts has also invited both Helen and Shona to attend a multi-disciplinary clinic in Birmingham, as well as get involved with the implementation of BRAIN-MATRIX across the 10 centres.

Overall, it was a great conference that provided the healthcare engagement and research teams an opportunity to meet with various researchers, healthcare professionals, and organisations to discuss new ideas and ways of working together to help find a cure and halve the harm faster.

If you require additional information, please contact the Research Team at research@thebraintumourcharity.org.

About the author

I am a Research Communications & Engagement Officer at The Brain Tumour Charity. I actively promote research funded by The Charity, help communicate the latest neuro-oncological research to our community, and work to improve patient engagement with research. My background is biomedical science and population health.

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