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'Today's the day that all the world will see' (Oasis 1995)

Welcome to the latest Headcase Headlines. Check out all of the latest stories, fundraising and other Headcase news right here! Click on the links below to go directly to any particular news item or scroll down to read them all…….

£100k Research Grant   Trial News  Fundraising Updates   Latest Research Update

Fundraising Updates

Amazing people have been doing lots of incredible things recently to raise massive amounts of money for Headcase. We don't have enough space to mention everyone so sorry if you've been missed but your contribution to Headcase and our research is gratefully received. If you go to our Just Giving page then you'll see details of many more donations and fundraisers than are highlighted below. They include…..

Holly GuyGraydon & Claire Downs who between them raised £401! running the Great North Run…… Bridgnorth Musical Theatre Company  took part in the 22 mile Bridgnorth Walk raising £700!…..Holly Bishop completed many events in memory of her brother Guy including a Tough Mudder and raised a fantastic £2500!

Derek & Jill Pugh celebrated the Queens 90th Birthday and raised £320!…… Mike Strahlman grew a 'tache and raised £824!…. Andy Johnson raised £230 in lieu of 70th Birthday Gifts, as did June Whiteside who raised £185….. Paul Clark rode his mountain bike for 24 hours (mad!) in the Relentless 24 and raised £287!…… Paul Ward ran the Paris Marathon and raised £1024 for his sore feet!

Robin CBrian Leslie donated the profits from a Frank Sinatra Evening at Ibrox Stadium, which came to £570!……. Kirstin Duffield completed a Half Ironman Triathlon to secure £970!…. Anthea Powell de-cluttered her house and raised £71! into the bargain…. Paul Clark (again!), Paul Linnecor, Patrick Froede and Robin Costigan all rode across the top of England, Coast to Coast and raised a brilliant £1561 between them!

We received almost another £700 from The Bridgnorth Walk whilst Clare Verrall 'Raced to the Stones' and ran up £339! in donations.

Paul Ward (he of sore feet) did some more running and raised a further £222!….. Wes Bramley (£190) and Toby Jellis (£963) got on their bikes and raised over £1100! between them… Ashleigh Bladon walked but raised £525! hiking the Great Glen Way.

We had even more donations from our long standning supporters Dr Mackle & Friends of £1380!……. donations from businesses and schools came from…. Morville Countryside Club £200!Bridgway Consulting £234!Shropshire Freemasons £500!Bramcote Hills Primary School £144!Langley Mill School £168!Tiger Recruitment £175! and Flamingo Produce Ltd £283!

Finally, The Russell Clan and Friends reached their target of £50,000! which has been raised in memory of their good friend Colin Smith.

£100k Research Grant – Statements of Interest invited

​Headcase Cancer Trust invites Statements of Interest for a new Research Grant of up to £100,000. Our criteria, as always, for applications is pretty straight forward……

  1. The research must be related to finding a cure for Glioblastoma Multiforme (obviously!)
  2. Applicants can be from anywhere in the UK or indeed abroad (Joint Centre collaboration is welcomed)
  3. Statements of Interest must include (amongst others)….
    1. Title and overview of the research to be conducted
    2. High level time plan
    3. Relevance to finding a cure for GBM
    4. Location of the research to be undertaken
    5. Key stakeholders plus background and relevant experience
    6. Total cost of the proposed research programme (including other funding sources if total is greater than £100k)

We don't expect more than 1 or 2 pages of information at this stage.

If you would like to send a Statement of Interest  then it should be sent to Closing date to receive Statements of Interest is 20th September 2016

Latest Research Updates!


So here's the non-wizard version of what has come out of the Research Project undertaken by Mikaella Vouri as part of her PhD titled 'The role of TAM receptors in brain tumour cell signalling and behaviour'.

OK, so one of these TAM receptors, namely Axl, appears to be responsible for allowing GBM cells to invade healthy parts of the brain. It would appear also that by using the nattily named BGB324, Axl is prevented from signalling to the GBM cells to do their 'dirty work'. In effect the GBM cells stop dead in their tracks. Good news. In addition it would also seem that GBM cells become more susceptible to Temozolomide (TMZ), which is the standard chemotherapy agent used to treat GBM.

Whilst this work has only been conducted in the lab in vitro, using small molecule inhibitors, like BGB324, to target Axl may be a promising therapy for GBM progression, leading to improved survival times for patients with GBM.  

As you'll know Kathleen Keatley has been investigating the role of mitochondrial mutations in GBM. Mitochondria are small structures that produce energy within the cell. As well as their role as miniature power stations, they also contribute to many other functions such as cell signalling, growth, survival and death. Mitochondria contain their own DNA, which serves as a blueprint for the production of energy producing proteins. Mutations in this DNA have been shown to contribute to many diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and diabetes, but are also predicted to affect the function of the mitochondria and the production of energy in cancer cells. A large number of these mutations have been identified within GBM, however, their role remains unclear. 

Intriguingly Kathleen discovered one mutation that recurred in 30% of the GBM patients and her data shows there is a correlation between single mitochondrial mutations and altered energy production in GBM cells. Over the next few months a series of pre-clinical investigations will be conducted in the laboratory to determine how these findings relate to GBM cell behaviours, such as growth rate and chemo-resistance. Confirming such a link would be a first in the field of GBM, and could provide much needed markers for patient diagnoses and targets for personalised therapies.

Trial News 

Prof Geoff


OK so here's the latest on our progress towards a Clinical Trial using the 'repurposed' drug Clomipramine from Dr. Richard Hill at Portsmouth….

"As part of a recently instigated project, Headcase are supporting the preclinical screening of the repurposed drug clomipramine to treat glioblastoma. This research project conducted by Prof. Geoff Pilkington and Dr Richard Hill at the University of Portsmouth hopes to, in collaboration with Imperial College London, identify mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance to this therapeutic and obtain results to move this promising treatment into clinical trial" 

So translating from 'Wizard' to plain old English, Richard and the guys at Imperial College London have embarked upon a series of tests and experiments which, if successful, are a pre-cursor to starting a Clinical Trial early next year. This is a really important piece of work and the use of repurposed drugs is a key part of Headcase's Research Strategy.  Headcase is co-funding this work in collaboration with Innovate Pharmaceuticals.