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Researching tumours of the nervous system

  • Researcher: Professor Gareth Evans
  • Institution: The University of Manchester
  • Award Amount: £55,099 for 1 year from January 2012
  • Cancer Type: Nervous System
Researching tumours of the nervous system

Every cell in our body contains thousands of genes. Cancer is caused by changes to either the structure or activity of key genes that regulate how the cells operate, divide and die. These changes cause the cells to multiply in a rapid and uncontrolled manner, forming a tumour. Professor Gareth Evans is using his Worldwide Cancer Research grant to investigate two of the most common types of nervous system tumour, meningioma and schwannoma which occur in the inherited conditions neurofibromatosis type 2 and schwannomatosis. For some tumours the genes which are altered have been identified, for example the NF2 and the SMARCB1 genes, but for many tumours the genetic alterations causing the disease are still unknown and there can often be several genes altered before the tumours develop. The main aim of Professor Evans' project is therefore to try to find previously unidentified genes that become altered and which allow the development and growth of these nervous system tumours. For any altered genes identified he will also try to find ways to block the effect of the alteration using drugs.

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