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New method to treat brain tumours

10th November 2008

Doctors at Glasgow's Southern General Hospital

cancercell have created a new method to treat brain tumours using molecular profiling.

The team use the profiles to analyse tumour samples in order to find out which types of treatment will help a patient achieve the best outcome.

Up to this point, doctors had no way of determining which treatment - chemotherapy or radiotherapy - would be better for a patient.

Dr Willie Stewart headed the research at the Institute of Neurological Sciences.

"This is a hugely important development for the patients in terms of morale," he said.

"Their consultant will be able to tell them for the very outset of treatment which treatment is likely to give them the best result."

He added that this kind of information could give patients a "major psychological boost" at an uncertain time.

Dr Stewart stated that tumours have "particular molecular signatures". These differing types of signature react to chemotherapy, while some other types react to radiotherapy treatment.

Dr Stewart said that although doctors identified tumours in some other centres around the country: "The difference is that what we are doing here in Scotland is putting it into routine practice."

He added that the team were now going to look into alternative ways of treating brain tumours.


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