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C2D2 research 4a - Intravital multiphoton imaging of the brain: integrating immunology, neuroscience and cancer biology

Project: Other projectOther internal award

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Description

Brain tumours affect some 5000 people a year in the UK and represent the leading cause of cancer-related death in the under 40s. In addition, brain tumours can have a catastrophic effect on a patient’s quality of life: Depending on the type and location of the tumour within the brain detrimental effects on cognitive and motor function are commonplace; half to three quarters of patients with tumours also present with types of epilepsy that are characteristically difficult to treat with antiepileptic drugs. These adverse, drug-resistant effects commonly leave surgical removal of the tumour as the sole potential clinical intervention. However, in many cases the damage caused by the presence of the tumour, or iatrogenically through its removal, persists following surgery. This leads to the urgent requirement for novel, more subtle methods for tumour suppression and removal, such as those being pioneered in Leeds. Further progress, however, requires a better understanding of both the processes involved in tumour genesis and spread at the molecular level, and the interaction between cancer cells and normal brain cells in the area surrounding the tumour. We therefore intend to develop advance microscopy techniques that will allow us to visualise how brain cells and tumour cells behave and interact in the living brain and how these processes can be affected by existing and experimental drugs.

Layman's description

Brain tumours affect some 5000 people a year in the UK and represent the leading cause of cancer-related death in the under 40s. In addition, brain tumours can have a catastrophic effect on a patient’s quality of life: Depending on the type and location of the tumour within the brain detrimental effects on cognitive and motor function are commonplace; half to three quarters of patients with tumours also present with types of epilepsy that are characteristically difficult to treat with antiepileptic drugs. These adverse, drug-resistant effects commonly leave surgical removal of the tumour as the sole potential clinical intervention. However, in many cases the damage caused by the presence of the tumour, or iatrogenically through its removal, persists following surgery. This leads to the urgent requirement for novel, more subtle methods for tumour suppression and removal, such as those being pioneered in Leeds. Further progress, however, requires a better understanding of both the processes involved in tumour genesis and spread at the molecular level, and the interaction between cancer cells and normal brain cells in the area surrounding the tumour. We therefore intend to develop advance microscopy techniques that will allow us to visualise how brain cells and tumour cells behave and interact in the living brain and how these processes can be affected by existing and experimental drugs.

Key findings

preliminary data obtained on non living tissue. Microscope attachment due for delivery early July for intravital imaging; research workshop held at university of Leeds, June 26th 2015.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date7/01/15 → …

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