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Sussex charity helping children with brain tumours
A Sussex charity is helping to fund a research project that could change the way children with brain tumours are treated.
Horsham-based children’s charity Action Medical Research and The Brain Tumour Charity will each provide half of the £194,000 cost of a three-year project to develop a way to tailor treatment more closely to the needs of each child diagnosed with a brain tumour.
It could save the lives of children with the most aggressive tumours, while those with less severe illnesses could be spared unnecessary treatments and subsequent side-effects.
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Every year, around 400 children aged up to 14 are diagnosed with a brain tumour, and around one in four dies within five years. Many children diagnosed with a brain tumour face prolonged and gruelling treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
The project, which will be completed by January 2017, would investigate how to glean information on the chemical make-up of tumours from MRI scans, a routine procedure when children are first diagnosed with a brain tumour.
It could help predict how aggressive each tumour is likely to be much sooner and more accurately, so treatment can be immediately tailored accordingly.
Dr Caroline Johnston, Action Medical Research’s research evaluation manager, said: “There is clearly a need for this research to help provide more information on the chemical make-up of brain tumours in children, the most deadly of all childhood cancers.
“We are proud to be jointly funding this project with The Brain Tumour Charity, which will in the future enable more accurate prognosis and better treatments.”
Leading the project is Professor Andrew Peet, from the University of Birmingham, who said: “A diagnosis of a brain tumour is devastating – not just for the child but for the whole family.
“Going through treatment is really tough, and children who make it through treatment remain at risk of experiencing long-term problems.”
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