Clinical research on brain & CNS cancer

Staff

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Department of Oncology
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Department of Oncology
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Department of Oncology
What is Brain/CNS Cancer?

Over 4,000 people are diagnosed with new cases of brain or central nervous system (CNS) cancer every year in the UK. Glioblastomas are the most common and aggressive form of brain tumour in adults. Research at the Cambridge Cancer Centre is focused on understanding the different types of brain tumours that develop in both adults and children, finding the most effective ways of diagnosing brain tumours as early as possible, developing new treatments, and monitoring how tumours are responding to treatment.

Cambridge Cancer Trials Centre contact for head and neck, and CNS cancer trials:  Dr Sarah Jefferies

A trial using dyes to guide surgery

The Cambridge Cancer Centre is coordinating a number of clinical trials for adults and children with cancer of the brain or spinal cord. One of these trials is testing a new tool to help surgeons remove as much of brain tumour as possible and potentially improve the survival rates of patients. Patients with glioblastoma are given a drink containing a dye before their operation, which makes. The dye makes the tumour cells glow pink under ultra-violet light. This allows the surgeon to distinguish tumour from normal brain allowing more tumour to be removed while improving patient safety so during surgery the surgeon can see the tumour cells more clearly and remove as much of the tumour as possible. Discs with a drug that kills tumour cells are then implanted in the space left after the tumour has been removed, to target any tumour cells left behind.

Tumour heterogeneity, growth and evolution

We have recently developed a real-time multiple sampling scheme to interrogate high-grade glioma during surgery. FGMS (Fluorescence-Guided Multiple Sampling) is based on fluorescence-guided resection technology to obtain spatially distinct tumour biopsies from individual tumours in real time, during cytoreductive surgery.


Figure 1.1 We can use these data to dissect intra-tumour heterogeneity, identify clonal diversity and infer tumour evolution.

Figure 1.2 Reconstruction of GB progression in time and space: The combination of sampling information (A), reconstructed tumor phylogeny (B), gene expression profiles, and molecular clock data enables temporal and spatial reconstruction of tumor ontogeny (C).
 
Little is known about the impact of intra-tumour heterogeneity on tumour evolution, growth and the consequences of such heterogeneity on the emergence of resistant disease. This is an important problem in brain tumour research because it is the emergence of recurrent treatment-resistant disease that kills patients and it is variability in this biological process that is responsible for variation between individual patients.
Current open trials in Cambridge

The table below lists the current open trials for brain and CNS cancer coordinated by the Cambridge Cancer Trials Centre (last updated February 2018).   If you would like further information about how to take part in any of the clinical trials listed here, please talk to your cancer specialist as patients usually need to be referred by their doctor

 

Titlesort descending Trial description Contact name Trial end date Trial start date
FACT Study Factors associated with Childhood Tumours Study Dr Amos Burke 31 Dec 2018 10 Aug 2006
HIPPO A randomized phase II trial of Hippocampal Sparing versus Conventional Whole Brain Radiotherapy after surgical section or radiosurgery in favourable prognosis patients with 1-4 brain metastases Dr Sarah Jefferies 31 Dec 2018 10 Nov 2016
MISSION: GliomaS A physiological exploratory study to assess tissue structure and metabolism in Glioma using sodium-23 Magnetic Resonance Imaging (23Na-MRI) Dr Fulvio Zaccagna 31 Dec 2018 18 May 2017
PARADIGM OlaPArib And RADiotherapy In newly-diagnosed GlioblastoMa: Short-course radiotherapy plus olaparib for newly diagnosed glioblastoma in patients unsuitable for radical chemoradiation: a randomised phase II clinical trial preceded by a lead-in phase I dose escalation study Dr Sarah Jefferies 31 Dec 2018 4 Nov 2016
PRaM-GBM Predicting sites of tumour progression in the invasive margin of glioblastomas Mr Stephen Price 31 Oct 2018 1 Feb 2017
RAPPER Radiogenomics: assessment of polymorphisms for predicting the effects of radiotherapy Dr Gill Barnett 31 Jul 2018 11 Jan 2006
ROAM Radiation versus observation following surgical resection of atypical meningioma: A randomised controlled trial Dr Sarah Jefferies 30 Apr 2025 17 Nov 2016
VoxTox - CNS An observational study to collect comprehensive toxicity data for patients undergoing image-guided intensity-modulated radiotherapy to the head and neck, prostate, and central nervous system Dr Raj Jenna 9 Jan 2023 27 Feb 2013