Glioma brain tumours are among the most challenging of cancers to treat. The current standard treatments of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy can have limited effect in terms of the survival time of the patient. They can also impact negatively on the quality of life of the patient during the illness.
Therefore, we need new improved treatments to be developed.
With the latest advances in technology for imaging (e.g. MRI scans) and the availability of improved methods for analysing tumour tissue samples, we have a better chance of developing potential alternative treatments, which may lead to better outcomes.
At the moment we usually treat all people who are diagnosed with a grade 4 glioma in the same way. By studying the analysis of these images and tissue samples from a large number of glioma patients, we can develop a number of groupings, known as a ‘stratification’, of different types of gliomas. These may enable us to identify different treatments for different groups of patients. The new Tessa Jowell BRAIN MATRIX study will enable us to do this, by providing a UK-wide framework for the consistent and efficient collection and analysis of images and tissue samples.
In the platform study we aim to develop the infrastructure to provide rapid and accurate molecular diagnosis and the infrastructure to deliver clinical trials of new therapies in the future.