Brain tumour clinical trial title

Harnessing plasticity to treat brain tumours (Study ID: 37315)

Brain tumour type

Anaplastic astrocytoma,  Anaplastic glioma,  Anaplastic oligodendroglioma,  Astrocytoma,  Glioblastoma,  Glioma,  Medulloblastoma,  Meningioma,  Ependymoma,  oligoastrocytoma,  Neuroblastoma,  Brain metastases,  Pituitary,  Schwannoma, 



Brain tumours are hard to treat. They are not very sensitive to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The main therapy is brain surgery to remove the tumour. Even if the entire tumour can be removed, the symptoms caused by the tumour usually persist. We aim to take a radical new approach to improve treatment of brain tumours. Our goal is to take advantage of the response of the healthy brain to the tumour. The brain surrounding the tumour tries to adapt to the tumour growth. The brain does this by switching on the same processes that are active when we learn. The technical term for these processes is brain plasticity. We plan to use brain plasticity to improve: 1) identification of tumour edge; and 2) control of seizures. Better identification of tumour edge would enable the entire tumour to be removed while minimizing the risks of side effects from surgery. The seizures associated with tumours respond poorly to medication. We need to understand why this happens to develop new therapies. Our project is a three year study that will be performed at King’s College Hospital, which runs a regional Neuro-oncology service and a regional Epilepsy service. We will recruit patients who are having surgery, which necessarily involves removal of brain tissue. The surgery will be planned and performed as normal. We will transfer a block of brain tissue removed during surgery from the operating theatre to my laboratory at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London (IoPPN/KCL) and will record brain activity. Our experimental goals are to identify an electrical marker of brain plasticity that can be used during brain tumour surgery and to work out why seizures do not respond to medication.

Date added: 12th January 2019

Open/Closed: Open

Trial ends: September 2020


King's College London

Contact details

Dr Gerald Finnerty :


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