Bid to cut number of deaths from brain tumours

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RESEARCHERS in Sheffield are hoping to uncover a new way of treating brain tumours which affect more than 16,000 people every year in the UK.

Drawing on research carried out in the US, University of Sheffield scientists plan to use inhibitor agents.

These switch off a DNA repair mechanism in brain tumour cells which may increase the effectiveness of current chemotherapy drugs.

Research has shown that brain tumour cells which are naturally or artificially manipulated to be defective in this DNA repair mechanism – known as the Fanconi Anaemia pathway – are far more sensitive to the cell killing effects of chemotherapy agents.

The scientists, funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research, want to take this research further and synthetically stop the Fanconi Anaemia pathway in brain tumour cells working.

They want to kick-start the long process of developing a drug to treat brain tumours which are responsible for the deaths of more people under the age of 40 than any other form of cancer.