Portsmouth university brain tumour centre looks to change lives

Professor Geoff Pilkington, head of the brain tumour research centre at the University of Portsmouth
Professor Geoff Pilkington, head of the brain tumour research centre at the University of Portsmouth

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FOR more than 10 years, a brain tumour research centre has been trying to improve the outcomes for patients with the illness.

The Brain Tumour Research Centre at the University of Portsmouth has a number of research projects looking at treatments and drugs.

Since we opened, we have seen patients are surviving longer and some paediatric patients have got a better quality of life.

Geoff Pilkington

Today is national Wear A Hat day, a nationwide awareness event for brain tumours and is organised by the charity Brain Tumour Research.

Geoff Pilkington, head of the centre, said: ‘We are working on a whole range of research projects including brain tumours in children and mutations in the mitochondrial DNA of brain tumours.

‘The centre dedicates its research to focusing on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of brain tumour development and progression of response to therapy.

‘Since we opened, we have seen patients are surviving longer and some paediatric patients have got a better quality of life.’

The centre is the largest Brain Tumour Research laboratory in the UK and is one of four. It is core-funded by the university and the charity.

The others are in London and Plymouth although Portsmouth was the first having been set up in 2004.

Prof Pilkington added: ‘We work at a molecular level and there have been lots of changes over the years when it comes to research.

‘With the use of molecular markers we can help patients get better drug treatments and less aggressive treatments.

‘We can help give them more years.

‘The challenge is getting these treatments and drugs from the laboratory to the patients quicker.

‘We are in quite exciting times.’