The UK’s first wholly accessible brain tumour tissue bank is being launched on 20th September thanks to the fundraising efforts of one of brainstrust’s supporters, Anita Smith
The brain tumour tissue bank, to be housed at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, will be the first of its kind to act as a repository of clinical information for all scientific, academic and commercial researchers across the UK. This means that, for the first time, researchers from any organisation, irrespective of location, will be able to directly access tissue to test for sensitivity to chemotherapy, for genetic links and to identify key markers for treatment that will, it is hoped, increase treatment options for future patients.
Anita Smith, whose amazing fundraising work on behalf of her daughter Charlotte, who died in 2008 aged 16 from an aggressive brain tumour, has made this project possible, says, “This unique brain tumour tissue bank will allow better translation of complicated science into treatment for patients such as Charlotte. We are thrilled that through our fundraising, and with the support of brainstrust, we are able to leave a legacy that will help future generations of brain tumour patients across the UK.”
Professor Anthony Chalmers, Chair of Clinical Oncology at the University of Glasgow, and the project lead, says, “We hope this resource will transform research into brain tumours and serve as a source of material for researchers in the community throughout the UK. The heterogeneity (lack of uniformity) of brain tumours means that we need to understand the challenges and possibilities of personalised medicine – this brain tumour tissue bank is one step on our way to achieving this.”
brainstrust director, Helen Bulbeck, adds, “By choosing to invest the money that Anita Smith and her amazing ‘Charlotte Smith Fund of Hope’ has raised into the tissue bank, this unique resource will give patients across the UK an even better chance in the future of specific treatments for their brain tumour. As there is no structured research base currently in existence for brain tumours, despite brain cancer killing more children than any other illness, all efforts to bring together research options are vital. We really look forward to working closely with the University of Glasgow and the Southern General Hospital as this project develops. We will be monitoring the outcomes of the tissue bank closely and will continue to distribute news as we receive it.”
And why Glasgow?
Well, lots of reasons. The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, working closely with Southern General Hospital, is perfectly placed to take the lead on this. It ticks all the boxes for translational research for patient benefit. Our scientists there have access to outstanding facilities and state-of-the-art services, all of which lead to better outcomes for patients. The ultimate aim of the brain tumour research group in Glasgow is to improve outcomes for patients with these tumours by overcoming their inherent resistance to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The group is working hard to understand the mechanisms that regulate cancer cell proliferation, survival and dissemination; to identify critical components of these pathways as targets for novel cancer therapies; and to help translate this knowledge to patient benefit.
If you would like to find out more about this project, or about setting up your own little ship to support a brainstrust project, then call us any time on 01983 292405.