Neuro-Oncology Programme

The CRUKCC Neuro-Oncology Programme is a network of researchers and clinicians in Cambridge working in brain tumour research. 

Over 11,000 people are diagnosed with new cases of brain or central nervous system cancer every year in the UK, and the outlook for patients has changed little over the past 10-15 years.

Brain tumours have been defined as a cancer of unmet need by CRUK.

Connecting brain and CNS cancer researchers in Cambridge
Neuro-oncology in Cambridge

The Programme is focusing research and networking efforts around 4 key themes:

  • Imaging and Tumour Metabolism
  • Developmental Neurobiology
  • Epi/genomics of recurrence, transformation and treatment resistance
  • Brain metastases

At the heart of the Programme is the Neuro-oncology MDT and the newly formed Brain Tissue Bank at Addenbrookes. Data from tissue samples, along with the Neuro-oncology MDT will become the hub of an integrated cancer medicine approach to brain tumour diagnosis and management. Ultimately this approach has the potential to benefit clinical care in the short, medium and longer term.

The Programme also plays an active role in providing projects and training for students in the Centre, supporting the next generation of researchers and building collaborative links between Programme members.

Details of current clinical trials in brain and CNS cancer, coordinated by the Centre, are listed on our clinical trials pages

Funded Group Leader - Dr Manav Pathania

Combining developmental neurobiology, epigenetics, stem cell science and genomic approaches, the Pathania group looks to reveal the role of chromatin remodelling in paediatric high-grade glioma.

Clinical Research Fellow profile

The Neuro-oncology Programme takes on both clinical and non-clinical students through the CRUKCC training schemes.

Rohit Sinha, who started his Clinical Research Fellowship in 2017 explains his research and why he applied to the CRUK Cambridge Centre for a clinical fellowship.

Cancer Research UK Children’s Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence

The Programme works alongside the Cancer Research UK Children’s Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence (CRUK-CBTCE), which brings together teams at the University of Cambridge and the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) to revolutionise the approach to research and treatment of paediatric brain tumours, drawing on the host institutions' strengths in therapeutic discovery.


To forge an innovative four-stage pipeline that generates curative treatments for children with brain tumours.


To transform the way, the world develops treatments for children with brain tumours.

The research strategy for the CRUK-CBTCE is centred on their biology, drug discovery and development pipeline, which will leverage the expertise of the brightest minds in the paediatric brain tumour field. For more information on the CRUK-CBTCE, please visit their website.

Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission

Following Tessa Jowell’s call for action to improve brain tumour treatment, research and survival, the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (TJBCM) was formed in February 2018. The mission consists of passionate academics, doctors, members of cancer charities, patients, and other individuals to help facilitate a new national strategy for brain tumours.

The TJBCM serves as a convening body for these organisations, enabling them to work together to make a tangible change in brain tumour treatment and research. TJBCM is neither a charity, fundraising nor grant-awarding body.

Over the next five years the TJBCM is focusing on six strategic objectives, organised through individual Strategic Programmes. These initiatives are:

  • Patients
  • Clinical trials
  • Training for physicians
  • Research
  • Emerging data and technology
  • Tessa Jowell Centre Designation

Programme Contacts

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Programme Lead
University of Cambridge
Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
Programme Lead
University of Cambridge
Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
Programme Training Director
University of Cambridge
Department of Oncology
Programme Manager

Selected publications