Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI to lead major international study to improve treatment outcomes for brain cancer patients

29 September 2017

RCSI is leading an international team of scientists on a major research study that aims to train the next generation of brain cancer researchers. The project (“GLIOTRAIN”) has received funding of almost €3.9 million from the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme.

The four-year project will focus on glioblastoma (GBM), the most frequent, aggressive and lethal of all brain tumours. GBM has a universally fatal prognosis with 85% of patients dying within two years. GLIOTRAIN will develop a European biomedical research training programme to investigate this complex disease. Fifteen new PhD students will be trained across the fields of tumour biology, medical oncology, computational biology, genomics, cancer drug delivery and immunotherapy.

The project is led by Professor Annette Byrne, RCSI Department of Physiology and Medical Physics & RCSI Centre for Systems Medicine. "New treatment options for GBM patients and effective precision medicine therapies are urgently required. The overall research objective of GLIOTRAIN is to identify novel therapeutic strategies, while implementing state of the art genomics and systems medicine approaches to unravel disease resistance mechanisms. Our consortium brings together leading European and international academics, clinicians, private sector and not-for-profit partners to achieve our goals" Professor Byrne commented.

Other RCSI investigators working on the project are Professor Jochen Prehn, Dr Brona Murphy and Dr Marc Sturrock, RCSI Department of Physiology and Medical Physics.

GLIOTRAIN includes major academic and industry researchers from the United States (Champions Oncology) and across Europe, including collaborators in Ireland (Cancer Trials Ireland); Germany (University of Stuttgart, Hannover Medical School, GeneXplain, Insilico Biotechnoloy, Yumab); Luxembourg (Luxembourg Institute of Health, University of Luxembourg, ITTM S.A.); Belgium (VIB, University of Leuven, Oncurious, Agilent Technologies); France (ICM Brain and Spinal Institute Paris, Bristol Myers Squibb, CarThera); Netherlands (Erasmus Medical Centre, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Mimetas, Pepscope)  and the UK (International Brain Tumour Alliance). The project will also be supported by the Irish Brain Tumour Biobank, which was established at Beaumont Hospital through generous funding from Brain Tumour Ireland.  

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 766069.

RCSI is ranked among the top 250 (top 2%) of universities worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2018). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide. RCSI is a signatory of the Athena SWAN Charter.