Study sheds new light on devastating brain tumour

by | May 21, 2024 | News, Research | 0 comments

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the commonest and most aggressive brain tumour. On average, people diagnosed with this condition only survive for about a year to a year and a half. Even though we’ve made great strides in treating other types of cancer, the main treatment approach for GBM hasn’t changed in years. It involves surgery to remove as much of the tumour as possible, followed by a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

This is why scientists are urgently trying to learn more about GBMs. They’re hoping that by understanding more about how these tumours work, they can develop new treatments that will be more effective.

A team of researchers from The University of Manchester and the Geoffrey Jefferson Brain Research Centre (which is partnered with the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust) have made an exciting discovery. They’ve found that the way certain cells, called myeloid cells, are arranged in GBMs can affect how long a person survives after being diagnosed.

The researchers used advanced technology to identify and map the different types of myeloid cells in GBMs. They found that these cells are arranged in distinct patterns that are influenced by factors like low oxygen levels in the tissue, chemical signals in the area, and interactions between different types of cells.

What’s more, they discovered that certain areas of the tumour, which are defined by the types of myeloid cells present, are linked to how long a person survives after being diagnosed with GBM.

This important research has been published in the prestigious journal Science Advances and could pave the way for new treatments in the future.

Omar PathmanabanProfessor Omar Pathmanaban, Strategic Development Lead at the Jeff and co-author, commented that “this important research reflects the interdisciplinary teamwork that the Jeff is enabling across the NCA’s Manchester Centre for Clinical Neurosciences, the University of Manchester’s Division of Neuroscience and the Lydia Becker Institute for Immunology and Inflammation. This approach which also extends to the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, increases the chances of making breakthroughs in treatments for GBM and other brain tumours, which are acutely needed.”

Read the research article published in Sciences Advances here: Hypoxia coordinates the spatial landscape of myeloid cells within glioblastoma to affect survival | Science Advances