University of Liverpool

Glioblastoma (Brain Cancer) Research

The University of Liverpool's new Glioblastoma (Brain Cancer) Fund has been set up to support ground-breaking research into immunotherapy, a promising new treatment for glioblastoma.
raised of £250,000 target
by 1725 supporters
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Glioblastoma is the most common type of primary brain cancer. Despite intensive treatment with surgery, radiotherapy & chemotherapy, the prognosis for glioblastoma isn't good; people with glioblastoma on average lose 20 years of life - the highest average years of life lost compared to other cancers.

Immunotherapy is a new type of treatment that is revolutionising oncology by manipulating the body's own immune system into fighting cancer. Researchers at the University of Liverpool working with The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust are studying the immune system response in long-term survivors and comparing the results with those patients who do not respond to treatment.

The research is led by Professor Michael Jenkinson, Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Liverpool's Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics together with Dr Rasheed Zakaria and Professor Christian Ottensmeier. Professor Jenkinson and Dr Zakaria have previously undertaken research on the immune response in brain metastases (secondary cancer) while Professor Ottensmeier leads a translational research programme in cancer immunology in lung and head and neck cancer.

Last year, Dr Michael Cearns was appointed as the new Kevin O'Riordan Brain Tumour Clinical Research Fellow, joining the Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine department at the University's Institute of Systems, Molecular and Integrative Biology. He is working alongside Dr Rasheed Zakaria at The Walton Centre, and the Institute's Professors Michael Jenkinson and Christian Ottensmeier, undertaking research into immunotherapy. Dr Cearns said of his appointment:

I'm delighted to have started on this important work, looking at how we might turn the immune system against brain cancer. The team at the Walton Centre and the University of Liverpool have lots of exciting plans, I'm really pleased to be on board with them and extremely grateful to all our funders for making this work possible.

To read more about Michael and his research please follow this link.

Michael has also been awarded the prestigious 12-month RCS(Eng) / Gunnar Nilsson Cancer Treatment Trust Fund Research Fellowship

Research update: Thanks to our generous patients we are in the process of gathering samples from the Walton Neuroscience Biobank, so that we can carry out this exciting work studying the immune system in brain cancer. We are developing our cutting-edge research methods in the lab so that we can analyse gene and protein expression in thousands of single immune cells within these tumours, helping us to identify targets for potential new treatments. We are very grateful to our funders for making this possible.

The PhD is named after Kevin O'Riordan, the husband of Maria Gisbert Sorollas who sadly died of brain cancer in 2020. She has kindly agreed to share her story in support of our fundraising campaign and to try and help make it a bit easier for other families going through the same situation.

Read Kevin's story here

We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support of those affected by this condition and the wonderful fundraising efforts they and their loved ones continue to make to support the fund. The funds raised wouldn't be possible without all of their hard work and the stories that they share.

About the charity

University of Liverpool

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It all starts here. A gift to the University of Liverpool will have an impact long into the future. By supporting talented individuals, enhancing the lives of our students, or investing in our research and touching the lives of millions, your donation will influence generations to come. Thank you.

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