Skip to main content

Break-through Brain Tumour Research

Break-through Brain Tumour Research

Thanks to the generosity of kind Animal Free Research UK supporters like you, brain tumour experts Professor Geoff Pilkington and Dr Zaynah Maherally are developing the first cutting-edge, animal free, 3D model of the blood-brain barrier.

Their research could find more effective ways of treating patients, including children, who suffer from brain tumours:

“Brain tumours are much more common than is perceived and research in this field is notoriously poorly funded. Many brain tumours carry a dreadful prognosis and we have not been able to substantially change the dismal outcome for these patients for 50 years.”

What is the blood-brain barrier?

Your brain is protected by a barrier that stops potentially harmful substances, such as bacteria and viruses, from entering and causing problems. This barrier is made from specially designed blood vessels and so it is known as the ‘blood-brain barrier’.

While we want our brains to block out most harmful substances, there are some that we might want to get into our brains – such as drugs to treat brain tumours. However, many drugs that may hold the potential to either cure brain tumours or slow down their progress can’t get into the brain because they are blocked by the blood-brain barrier.

Beating brain tumours with animal free research

Now, Geoff and Zaynah are using their all-human model to find better ways to get drugs across the blood-brain barrier, treat brain tumour patients and further understand the human brain.

“We have engineered the most sophisticated in vitro blood-brain barrier reported to date and it is comprised wholly of human cells and proteins, thus reflecting the biological features of the human brain far more accurately than other animal experiments and in vitro models.”

Petri dishIn vitro research takes place in a controlled environment, outside of a living organism (such as an animal or plant). In vitro (Latin for ‘in glass’) experiments are traditionally undertaken in test tubes, petri dishes or flasks. They usually involve isolated cells, tissues, or organs.



You can take action for animals, by uniting with us now!

Too many animals continue to suffer in laboratories rather than enjoying the comfort and security of a happy home. Our work is funded entirely by your generous support, so please make a donation today to help us free animals from laboratories for good.


Page last modified on August 9, 2023 7:24 pm