£200,000 grant to tackle childhood brain tumours

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SCIENTISTS in Yorkshire are set to investigate the most common form of brain tumours in children.

Experts at Sheffield University have been awarded £200,000 from the charity Yorkshire Cancer Research for a three-year study into medulloblastomas, which account for one in five brain tumours in children, mainly those aged between three and eight.

They form in the cerebellum, a structure in the brain linked to co-ordinating movement and maintaining posture and balance. It contains the most neurons in the brain, yet must develop very rapidly immediately after birth, requiring a very large increase in the number of its cells in a very short period.

Sometimes this expansion goes wrong and the cells fail to stop growing. Scientists at the university hope to find out why this happens, which could eventually lead to more effective diagnosis and treatment.

Andrew Furley, of the Department of Biomedical Science, is leading the study.