Doctor Leads Study on Tumour Relapse; Research into Children's Brain Cancer

Article excerpt

Byline: Helen Rae

ANORTH East doctor is to undertake a pioneering study looking into the ways to prevent the relapse of life-threatening brain tumours in children. Dr Rebecca Hill has been awarded pounds 204,861 from children's health charity, Action Medical Research, to focus on better treatments for children with medulloblastoma - a type of malignant brain tumour - and find ways to prevent relapse of the illness.

She has been granted the Research Training Fellowship to fund her three-year project, which is believed to be the largest study of its kind.

Dr Hill, from the Northern Institute of Cancer Research at Newcastle University, said: "It is very exciting that I've been given this research grant and I feel extremely honoured to be doing the study. "Little work has been done into this type of brain tumour.

"Children who are diagnosed with relapsed medulloblastoma have a very poor outcome and relapsed disease has been very much understudied.

"This research will be building the foundation for future studies and we hope to discover a lot about the biology of medulloblastoma and find new genetic leads to investigate in the future.

"We want to identify markers which could indicate which children are more likely to relapse and identify the potential for future drug treatments.

"This project is very much at an early stage, but from this there may well be leads into potential drug treatments to prevent relapses and save children's lives in the future."

Around one in every 10 children who die from cancer in the UK has medulloblastoma.

After first diagnosis, a child will undergo gruelling treatment which has led to improvements in survival rates over recent decades.

But still around 30% to 40% of treated children find their disease has come back - of which most will die. …


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