Glioma research

Tissue bank funding aids new glioma research published in leading science journal

The GLASS (Glioma Longitudinal Analysis) Consortium of researchers have published a new paper in leading scientific journal Cell, on ways to predict new glioma recurrence.

Our Involvement

The Leeds Neuropathology Tissue Bank funded by OSCAR’S Paediatric Brain Tumour Charity and Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity has provided tissue for the project and Tissue Bank manager, Steven Pollock, is one of the authors of the paper.


Gliomas are the most common brain tumour in children. Diffuse gliomas are able to develop resistance and grow back after standard therapies such as surgery and chemotherapy have been carried out.

This new paper looks into why these tumours return by analysing tissue at the start and end of treatment and after recurrence.

The researchers analysed data from over 300 patients to find the most frequent changes that take place in tumours that reoccur.


The study found that tumours recurred in distinct manners depending on whether they belonged to one of two subtypes – “IDH-wild-type” and “IDH-mutant”. They categorised tumours which had grown back into three further subtypes, based on their characteristics at recurrence – “neuronal”, “mesenchymal” and “proliferative”.

The team observed that many “IDH-wild-type” tumours developed into “neuronal” tumours which were found to invade other brain cells most aggressively.

How will this help?

Being able to categorise tumours into these subtypes will allow for accurate forecasting of how a tumour will recur, in order to guide the choice of therapy given to a patient.

One of the paper’s senior authors, Frederick Varn, said: “By analysing data from this large cohort of patients, we are beginning to appreciate how tumours are changing to adapt to standard therapy. This study has made it clear that not every tumour changes in the same way. Knowing this is going to allow us to develop therapies that are better tailored towards each patient’s disease in the future.”

Another senior author, Roel Verhaak, said: “The GLASS project has built tremendous momentum and is just getting started. We are poised to comprehensively dissect the process of resistance and make important progress towards better outcomes for patients with a glioma.”

The tailoring of treatments is particularly important for those of us at OSCAR’s who have seen how generalised treatment can ravage the vulnerable bodies of children. Anything that leads to better outcomes for brain tumour patients is welcome news and we are proud to be involved and that our funding has helped this project.