Mobile menu icon
Mobile menu icon Search iconSearch
Search type

Neurofibromatoses

World-leading research carried out at The University of Manchester since 1990 has brought about the significantly improved management of two types of tumours that grow in the human nervous system.

As a result of the work of Professors Gareth Evans and Richard Ramsden, the NHS commissioned the first ever national services for the treatment of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) in 2009 and type 2 (NF2) in 2010.

Professor Evans proved that specialist management of these conditions leads to improved life expectancy for patients in the UK.

The development and surgical use of both cochlear and brain stem implants by Professor Ramsden for treatment of patients with NF2 led to NHS service improvements. The work has received international and national recognition.

Manchester is one of two centres in the UK running the NF1 service and is the lead centre of four running the NF2 service.

All 850 patients with NF2 in England and approximately 800 complex NF1 patients are now managed through these national services.

The UK model for management of NF1 and NF2 is highly regarded in Europe and North America. France is in the process of looking into establishing a similar initiative. The work at Manchester is viewed to be world-class and we continue to drive forward new initiatives on the medical treatment of NF1 and NF2.

Neurofibromatoses tumours are related to mutations in genes that play key roles in suppressing cell growth in the nervous system. These mutations keep the genes NF1 and NF2 from making normal proteins that control cell production.

As a result, cells multiply out of control and form tumours. NF1 causes neurofibromas which can impact on the eyes and spine - 1 in 2,500 live births are affected.

NF2 causes schwannomas which impact on hearing and balance - 1 in 30,000 live births are affected.

"The UK model for management of NF1 and NF2 is highly regarded in Europe and North America."

Gareth Evans / Professor of Medical Generics and Cancer Epidemiology