Scientists put spotlight on brain cancer

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SCIENTISTS in Yorkshire have launched a three-year investigation into the treatment of brain tumours.

Brain cancer is one of the biggest killers of people aged under 40 and the brain is the most common location for tumours in children. Sufferers with the most aggressive and fast-growing glioblastoma survive for little more than a year on average, yet less than one per cent of national research funding is spent on brain cancer.

Now Yorkshire Cancer Research and Sheffield’s Weston Park Hospital Charity have awarded nearly £220,000 to experts at Sheffield University and the Royal Hallamshire Hospital to look at improving existing treatments.

Spencer Collis, from the university’s department of oncology, said: “As chemotherapy works by damaging a cell’s DNA, this study aims to assess whether a specific mechanism used by brain tumour cells to protect their DNA can be inactivated through the use of novel drugs.

“This could improve the effectiveness of current chemotherapeutic treatments.”

Kathryn Scott, from Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “This project is a fantastic example of charities working together to advance our knowledge of cancer.

“Cancer tends to be a disease of old age, but brain tumours often hit people in the prime of their life so it is incredibly important that we fund more research in this area.”