New appointment aims to help develop brain tumour treatments

University of Portsmouth has appointed Dr Diana Leite as a Senior Research Associate to work on novel methods for screening treatments for adult brain tumours.

Dr Leite, from Porto, Portugal, recently obtained her PhD from the University of Portsmouth on research into a novel targeted drug delivery system able to carry cytotoxic drugs across the blood-brain barrier for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme, which is the most common and aggressive brain tumour in adults (carrying a mean prognosis of 14 months).

Dr Leite has continued her research and is currently developing an in vitro model that mimics the tumour microenvironment for the screening of novel, repurposed and formulated drugs for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme.

Dr Leite said: “Glioblastoma multiforme is a challenging disease. Despite all of the efforts, little progress has been achieved in terms of treatment in the past decades due to the multifaceted nature of this devastating disease. I would be thrilled to be able to create an in vitro model of the complex tumour microenvironment, which will offer an insight to the behaviour of the tumour in its native form and its response to various chemotherapeutic agents. I truly believe that this would facilitate drug screening, and hopefully help in the development of novel therapies for the treatment of glioblastoma.”

I would be thrilled to be able to create an in vitro model of the complex tumour microenvironment, which will offer an insight to the behaviour of the tumour in its native form and its response to various chemotherapeutic agents.

Dr Diana Leita, Senior Research Associate

Dr Leite will work with two research fellows (Dr Samantha Higgins and Dr Samantha Murray) and Professor Geoffrey Pilkington, Head of the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at the University of Portsmouth – one of four UK Centres of Excellence funded by Brain Tumour Research.

Professor Pilkington added: “At present drugs for the treatment of malignant brain tumours are tested on single layers or colonies of tumour cells but we know that the normal brain cells within which the tumours grow strongly influence drug sensitivity. We are, therefore, building more representative living multi-cellular models for testing new, repurposed and re-formulated drugs which better reflects the situation in the human brain.”

Drugs for the treatment of malignant brain tumours are tested on single layers or colonies of tumour cells, but we know that the normal brain cells within which the tumours grow strongly influence drug sensitivity. We are, therefore, building more representative living multi-cellular models for testing new, repurposed and re-formulated drugs which better reflects the situation in the human brain.

Professor George Pilkington, Head of the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence

This site uses cookies. Click here to view our cookie policy message.

Accept and close