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Tissues analysis and molecular pathology

The study of tissue samples from brain tumours collected at the Brain Tumour Bank is central to our translational research strategy.

We apply conventional histological and immunohistochemical techniques integrated with multi-colour immunofluorescence, tree-dimensional reconstructions and tissue microdissection.

By applying these methods we are able to identify and accurately quantify cell populations within the tumour microenvironment. We are able to use this information to identify molecules that are relevant to tumour progression and inflammatory response such as the mitochondrial translocator protein.

Molecular analysis of DNA, RNA and proteins from human tissue is complementary to this approach. For instance, tissue analysis has proven essential to the validation of our molecular imaging studies on transforming gliomas.

Deep into genes and molecules: molecular and genetic analysis for brain tumours

Analysis of genetic and epigenetic changes and chromosomal alteration occurring in brain tumours is centralised at the Genomic Diagnostics Laboratory at St Mary’s Hospital.

The fully-accredited diagnostic laboratory is at the forefront of molecular technologies and it is integrated with research, the bioinformatics team and clinical services.

Platforms include next generation sequencing, pyrosequencing and digital polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In collaboration with neuropathology the laboratory is currently developing a range of tests to assist with the classification of central nervous system tumours.

The structure is designed to exploit the new generation of technologies to scan the genome, monitor the progress of tumours, stratify patients into novel therapies and measure their impact.

Principal investigators

Tissue analysis

Dr Federico Roncaroli
Reader in Neuropathology, University of Manchester

Molecular pathology

Dr Andrew Wallace
Clinical Scientist, Saint Mary's Hospital