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Why we need to know more about brain tumours in young people

Why we need to know more about brain tumours in young people

Little Princess Trust research project of the month

Anyone of any age can get a brain tumour, but we normally group them into children, young people and adults.  

We know that the place where the tumour is, the way the cancer progresses, and the best treatments are also affected by which age group a patient is in.

In recent years, there have been lots of progress in treating brain tumours in children and adults but treatments for young people aged 13-24 are a lot less successful.

Dr Anbarasu Lourdusamy wants to change this. He is an expert in data analytics who is based at the University of Nottingham.

This summer, he finished an LPT-funded research project titled Improving our understanding of brain tumours in teenagers and young adults, where he delved into the molecular and genetic makeup of brain tumours to create the first comprehensive description of brain tumours in young people.

Dr Anbarasu Lourdusamy received funding from The Little Princess Trust to improve our understanding of brain tumours.

Anbarasu’s work focused mainly on medulloblastoma brain tumours, and he found that there were over 1,000 genes that were significantly different between children's and young peoples’ medulloblastoma.

Further investigation found 22 genes for teenage and young adult medulloblastoma that could help doctors predict how the cancer will progress in each patient.

This project was the first step towards making teenage and young adult brain tumours as well researched as they are in other age groups.

Anbarasu hopes that his work will help better diagnose patients, plan treatment strategies, and help make sure these young patients get the right treatment and right clinical trials at the right time.

You can read more about this project here.

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The MBE for voluntary groups was awarded to The Little Princess Trust by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.