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Brain Tumour North West (BTNW) involves the Universities of Central Lancashire, Wolverhampton, Liverpool and Keele, together with the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology and Walton Centre NHS Trusts, in a new strategic alliance designed to consolidate and exploit clinical and research-based brain tumour expertise which currently exists within the region.

Significant advances in the diagnosis and treatment of this form of cancer will only be achieved through a coordinated and multi-disciplinary approach; being able to accurately profile an individual’s tumour with respect to molecular expression, functional properties and chemosensitivity. This is initially being undertaken for research purposes but could later lead to individualised therapies based on the tumour’s histological and molecular profile.

In contrast to many other types of cancer there are no large UK based research groups involving scientists and clinicians studying brain tumours. The formation of Brain Tumour North West, an alliance in a relatively small geographical region optimises access to uncommon tumour material, enables sharing of laboratory facilities and techniques and combines scientific, medical, bioinformatics and statistical expertise. It also provides the multidisciplinary critical mass essential for developing research proposals and delivering them successfully in this area.

Communications are excellent in the region meaning that no centre is more than 75 minutes by road or rail from another thereby facilitating effective collaboration.