Glasgow & West Scotland

UK's first brain tumour tissue bank launched in Glasgow

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Media captionUK's first brain tumour tissue bank

The UK's first brain tumour tissue bank is being launched in Glasgow.

The bank will provide access to samples of brain tumours for anyone conducting research - with the aim of helping scientists find new treatments.

Until now individual universities, hospitals and commercial organisations had their own tissue banks which may or may not have allowed access to others.

Glasgow was chosen as the home for the new bank because it is a leading centre for brain tumour research.

Prof Anthony Chalmers, from the University of Glasgow, who led the project, said: "By making this resource available to other researchers, not only here but also around the world, we increase the likelihood that some valuable piece of information will come out of it.

"The more people who are using the resource, the more likely it is that people will benefit."

The tissue bank will sit alongside an existing bio-depository.

More effective treatments for brain tumours are desperately needed as they kill more children than any other cancer.

Cure hope

Anita Smith from Hampshire lost her 16-year-old daughter Charlotte to a brain tumour. Her fundraising has raised the £30,000 needed to staff the tissue bank, and the bank will be called 'Charlotte's Bank of Hope' in her memory.

"I'm very proud and I think Charlotte would have been proud of us too, " she said.

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Image caption The bank is named after Charlotte Smith who died, aged 16, after being diagnosed with a brain tumour

"It is something I know that she would have done for others because she was a very kind and thoughtful girl.

"Charlotte had the worst prognosis for her cancer. We knew at the time when they were giving us treatment options for Charlotte that it was a guess. Was this going to work? Was this particular drug going to have an effect?

"Hopefully now they will find a cure through this research."

Prof Chalmers said finding treatments for brain tumours was particularly difficult because of the large variety of cancer types.

He said: "Treatment is not as good as it could be, or should be, and one of the reasons for that is that everyone's brain tumour is different. And we are beginning to understand that and the ways that those tumours differ from each other."

It is hoped the large number of samples available to researchers through the new tissue bank will speed up progress towards better treatments and help scientists understand how to tackle a wide variety of brain tumours.

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