In a new three-year project, Professor Andrew Peet, Reader in Paediatric Oncology and his team at the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Children’s Hospital, are using new technology to provide more personalised, targeted treatments for children with brain tumours.
The study, which is jointly funded by children’s charity Action Medical Research and The Brain Tumour Charity, will look at using minimally invasive scans rather than surgery to help determine the prognosis of children with brain tumours.
The study builds upons existing research from the team, Prof Peet explains:“This new project is moving another step further in using Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in combination with MRI to measure the chemical profile of a tumour. “The team has established that some of the chemicals measured in the tumours using the MRS are strong predictors of survival.
“In this new project, the team will be extending the original work to see which chemicals are the key ones to look for and follow in the tumours. “They will also be working on finding other new chemicals that may be able to help tell doctors how well a child may do or not.”
The team believes this approach will lead to increased survival in children with the most aggressive tumours and will also reduce the risk of permanent, disabling side effects.
The study is much needed, as brain tumours are the most common solid tumour to develop in children. For every three children diagnosed with brain cancer, one will die.
Children who do survive are likely to suffer lifelong neurological complications. But this study will help ensure that children are given the right treatment in the least invasive way.