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We will hear from a neurosurgeon, a scientist and a phycologist on how their research is pushing forward in the battle against brain cancer. From complex surgery and biological principles, to the psychological impact of this deadly disease, our speakers will explore the multifaceted research taking place at Leeds. Please note that this event takes place on the ground floor and is accessible for those with impaired mobility, via a temporary ramp.
Awake Brain Surgery & A Rubik’s Cube within a Rubik’s Cube
Dr. Ryan Mathew (Neurosurgeon at Leeds General Infermary, and Cancer Research UK funded fellow at University of Leeds)
The treatment of brain tumours has benefitted from technological advances such as tractography, fMRI, navigation and awake surgery. Despite this, outcomes remain poor and more research is desperately needed. Fundamental to this is improving understanding of the biological complexity of the disease - no two patients have the same tumours, and no two cells within a tumour are even the same. Linking the clinic and the lab provides is crucial to making progress.
Facing the new normal
Dr. Florien Boele (Scientist at St James University Hospital)
When someone is diagnosed with a brain tumour, they are not only confronted with the diagnosis and treatment of a serious illness, but also with various neurological symptoms. For example, many people suffer from headaches, cognitive problems such as difficulties with memory and concentration, seizures, changes in personality and behaviour, and changes in mood. These issues can have a great impact on the everyday lives of both patients and their loved ones. I will talk about these symptoms, their impact, and the research we are doing to try and support both patients and their family members.
Calling a brain cancer bluff
Dr Heiko Wurdak (Group leader of the Stem Cells and Brain Tumour Group, St James University Hospital)
Brain cancer is a devastating disease that we do not understand very well and often cannot treat efficiently. To better understand the factors that brain tumour cells depend on, we expose them to drug-like chemicals. Once we observe that a chemical compound changes the shape and appearance of brain tumour cells and their ability to grow, we investigate what chemical mechanism caused this change in the vital processes within the cells. We are often surprised by what we find, for example, we observed that brain tumour cells depend on energy from ‘breathing’ much more than we previously thought.