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Project information

Hope for Children with Ependymoma Tumours

When children are diagnosed with a brain tumour the first questions asked by parents are 'What has caused this to happen?' and 'Is it genetic?'. By understanding genetic alterations we could identify children who are predisposed to develop ependymomas, enabling treatment at the earliest opportunity

May 2017 - April 2018

Charity information: The University of Nottingham Impact Campaign

The University of Nottingham Impact Campaign logo
  • Need


    Ependymoma is a rare tumour of the nervous system, most commonly found in the brain and is the third most common childhood brain tumour. Almost 40% of children diagnosed with ependymoma do not survive. Our researchers aim to identify what might cause neonatal and infant ependymoma.


    Identifying predisposition genes will help with screening and early detection of the disease so that emerging ependymoma can be detected at the earliest moment. Carrying out a new clinical trial that will allow us to accrue blood and cerebro spinal fluid in a trial setting in which we can test ependymoma signatures of recurring or residual disease in circulating DNA and CSF markers that will help in the screening process.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To characterise genetic abnormalities to enable early intervention & treatment of cancer sufferers


    » The appointed researcher will look at germline mutations to build the pilot data to support the hypothesis that would lead to a clinical trial.

    What success will look like

    Through the development of a biomarker that can clearly indicate that a child is predisposed to develop a tumour. Similarly a test exists for medullablastoma brain tumours.

  • Impact


    Long term changes could be that a test is developed to indicate who is predisposed to develop a ependmoma tumour. This could be uploaded to patients records and clinicians are then able to intervene at a neonatal/perinatal stage to deliver a course of treatment much earlier than conventional treatments. This could offer hope to families in the future for what is such a devastating disease and improve outcomes for those children affected.


    Research always carries an element of risk however having developed a test for medullablastoma tumours we would hope to replicate this in ependymoma tumours. The research will be carefully monitored and risks would be mitigated through careful analysis and the reaching of key milestones.


    We will provide annual update reports on the progress of the work. Should any major breakthrough occur we would share this information at the earliest opportunity.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £80,659

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £48,659 Salary Research Technician
      £25,000 Consumables Micro arrays and lab costs
      £7,000 equipment Real time polymerase chain reaction
  • Background


    The CBTRC was established in 1997 and is an internationally-renowned centre of excellence in paediatric neuro oncology which provides a comprehensive clinical service for children and adults with brain cancers. Nottingham is the primary treatment centre for paediatric oncology in the East Midlands: we treat 30-40 children diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour each year – the majority of whom require repeated cross sectional imaging.


    CBTRC brings together a multi-disciplinary team of leading healthcare professionals and researchers – all experts in their fields, and all committed to improving our understanding of childhood brain tumours. Their findings guide national and international developments in brain tumour research and clinical practice, leading to new methods of research to help find a cure, whilst minimising the risk of disability. We hope that our research will directly benefit children with ependymoma tumours

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The University of Nottingham’s Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre (CBTRC) is dedicated to improving the lives of young brain tumour.patients. Our team is leading an EU clinical trial on ependymoma and as such is well positioned to deliver this important project. This is led by Professor Richard Grundy, who is considered a leading expert in Europe in this field of tumour biology.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Professor Richard Grundy, Professor Of Paediatric Neuro-Oncology

    Currently leading a EU clinical trial on ependymoma, Richard will oversee the appointment and ensure that key milestones are reached

Funding research into Childhood brain tumours is the key to improving diagnosis & treatments and ultimately increasing survival of these difficult to treat tumours whilst also reducing disability rates.

Professor Richard Grundy