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View of woman going into MRI machine for brain scan

Neuro oncology

Neuro oncology at Manchester brings together surgeons, clinicians, and researchers to deliver the best patient care through cutting-edge research and surgical practices as part of the newly formed Geoffrey Jefferson Brain Research Centre.

Tumours of the brain, central nervous system, skull base and pituitary gland are extremely complex.

Research in neuro oncology requires the integration of several disciplines in order to understand the biological mechanisms of tumours, as well their interactions with both their microenvironments and whole organisms.

Our focus is on translational research. We promote scientific discovery and develop strategies to improve pre-operative diagnosis and surgical techniques, maximise the response to post-operative treatment and minimise undesirable side effects.

Our experienced, multidisciplinary team of clinicians, imaging and basic scientists work across The University of Manchester, Salford Royal Foundation Trust, The Royal Manchester Children Hospital and The Christie.

Together we provide state-of-the-art diagnosis and personalised care for more than 500 new patients a year. We also specialise in neurofibromatosis and run one of two national referring centres for the disease.

We have close links with the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, the Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre and the Manchester Brain Bank.

Our clinicians and researchers actively engage with the community through forums where patients and their families can share their experiences, ultimately contributing their ideas for more personalised patient care.

Areas of research activity

Illustration of a brain scan

Major projects

Molecular characterisation of neurofibromatosis, schwannomatosis and related disorders

A team led by Professor Gareth Evans is conducting translational research into neurofibromatosis and related conditions; from basic science through observational studies to clinical trials.

Translocator protein expression in transforming gliomas

Dr Federico Roncaroli, Mr David Coope and Professors Alan Jackson and Karl Herholz lead a team of investigators researching transforming gliomas. By combining molecular imaging, tissue and molecular analysis, their work investigate the role and regulation of the translocator protein (TSPO) in progression of gliomas and the TSPO as a possible therapeutic targets.

Biological validation of biomarkers of tissue hypoxia in glioblastoma multiforme

Professor Alan Jackson leads a team investigating the role oxygen performs in the growth and treatment of malignant brain tumours. The amount of oxygen in a patient’s brain is scanned with a state of the art MRI scanner and compared to additional scans with a PET scanner.

Children's Brain Tumour Research Network

The network, based at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, aims to improve our understanding of the genetic and environmental factors predisposing brain tumour development in children and young people. They focus on the development of targeted therapy and study the personal, psychological and social challenges faced by young people with brain tumours.

Cells from a brain tumour

Highlight publications

Surgeons operating behind a picture of a brain scan

Case study

Building a brain tumour biobank - and better patient relationships

Biobanks are central to developing innovative basic, translational and clinical research in neuro oncology.

Established in 2016 as part of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre Biobank, the Brain Tumour Biobank at Salford Royal is an invaluable resource.

The collection comprises a range of tumour types, including gliomas, meningiomas, metastatic carcinomas and pituitary adenomas. It is combined with a wealth of data collected via NHS Electronic Patient Records to facilitate translational research into tumours of the brain, skull base and pituitary.

The biobank has close links with Brain UK in Southampton, the Imperial College Healthcare Tissue Bank in London, The Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group Tissue Bank and the Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg.

In addition to providing biobanking support and histological technical assistance, our biobank technician Ricky Williams actively engages with patients in order to build positive relationships between the patient community and medical researchers by attending patient engagement groups and other relevant events.

Read more

Brain tumour cells examined under microscope



Dr Federico Roncaroli

Funding and partnerships

Lisa Hearty, Strategic Funding Manager
Tel: +44 (0)161 306 0551