Gliomodel: A proof of concept study

Gliomodel: A proof of concept study

The GlioModel consortium aim to set up a multi-centre resource to set up well-characterised models of glioblastoma.
Official Title: Gliomodel: A proof of concept study
Lead Researcher: Dr Lucy Stead, Associate Professor at University of Leeds
Co-Investigators: Professor John Ladbury, Dr Heiko Wurdak, Mr Ryan Mathew
Where: University of Leeds, in collaboration with Professor John Greenman and Dr Mark Wade (University of Hull), Dr Ruman Rahman (University of Nottingham), Professor Tracy Warr (University of Wolverhampton)
When: 1 year, March 2022 – Feb 2023
Grant awarded: £25,000
Research Type: Proof of concept study, glioblastoma

Patient gliomas, and particularly GBM, have undergone a lot of molecular profiling resulting in many genes and pathways of interest that could be therapeutic targets if their involvement in the development or progression of the tumour was confirmed.

However, proving that involvement is problematic as it requires preclinical models, of which there are many and each with different pros and cons, but with no single one fully resembling the human disease.
In addition, the models with most patient relevance are notoriously difficult to establish and run, meaning most groups rely on only one model, or stick to those that don’t completely reflect the patient condition. Ideally, candidate targets should be assessed via a variety of well-characterised models.
The GlioModel consortium aim to set up a multi-centre resource to bring together the necessary skills to facilitate these well-characterised models. This requires investment at a programmatic level of funding that would reach into the millions. To be able to secure funding for the future, the consortium need to be able to first show a proof-of-concept that investigation of a target benefits from experiments across a range of models, and that the consortium is effective and able to work collaboratively together, sharing their expertise across a variety of locations.
To address this, the consortium are running a pilot study that YBTC are proud to be funding. They have identified a target, a gene called SLC6A6, that they have previously hypothesised to have a role in treatment resistance. This work was focused on two cell lines and a single in vitro modelling system. Results showed a consistent effect of treatment response but in different directions for the different cell lines. To understand if this gene could represent a therapeutic opportunity in GBM, they need to take account of what we now know with regards the biology of the target and investigate it in additional models that better resemble those aspects.

To find out more about the project, go to

To follow the GlioModel consortium on Twitter, go to
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