The promise of antidepressants in brain cancer fight 

Brain cancer is one of the least-funded types of cancer in the UK, according to cancer charities, but kills more children and adults under 40 than any other cancer.

It accounts for around 2% of total cases of cancer in the UK per year, but attracts only 1% of the funding, according to charity Brain Tumour Research.

In some cases, parents in the UK have looked abroad for brain cancer treatment. The parents of five-year-old Ashya King, who were briefly detained for taking him out of the country, recently received NHS funding for proton beam treatment in Prague.

Nevertheless, brain cancer research could be entering an exciting and productive period, according to veteran cancer researcher Professor Geoff Pilkington.

Scientists at the IRCM, [the Institute of Clinical Research in Montreal] discovered a mechanism that promotes the progression of medulloblastoma, the most common brain tumour found in children.

The team, led by Frédéric Charron,PhD, found that a protein known as Sonic Hedgehog induces DNA damage, which causes the cancer to develop.

This important breakthrough will be published in the October 13 issue of the prestigious scientific journal Developmental Cell. The editors also selected the article to be featured on the journal's cover.

A new immunotherapy for a form of brain cancer has become the first in the UK to be designated a 'Promising Innovative Medicine' (PIM) as part of a scheme to speed up access to experimental new treatments.