BRAINatomy: A Validated Anatomical Atlas of Childhood Neuroradiation Damage - Stand Up To Cancer

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SU2C-CRUK Pediatric Cancer New Discoveries Challenge:
BRAINatomy: A Validated Anatomical Atlas of Childhood Neuroradiation Damage

Grant Term: April 2021-March 2023

The SU2C-CRUK Pediatric Cancer New Discoveries Challenge is a new, focused effort to spark novel approaches and new collaborations from investigators both within and outside the field of pediatric cancer research, with the ultimate aim of increasing the number of innovative and effective approaches to treating pediatric cancers. This program will support collaborative, multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, trans-Atlantic Teams to pursue a transformative change in our understanding of the drivers of pediatric cancers and the development of novel or repurposed medicines, treatment strategies or technologies. With a clear and rational line of sight to the clinic, these projects will have the potential to significantly impact pediatric cancer patients, including teenagers and young adults.


Precision radiotherapy is currently an essential part of the treatment of many pediatric brain tumors. However, even with improvements in the targeting of the radiation, these treatments can still cause lifelong side effects on cognition and hormone production. This Team is proposing to study the path the radiation travels in treating pediatric brain tumors, comparing pre- and post-treatment in order to link brain regions to long term side effects. This project will allow the Team to identify the regions of the brain that are sensitive to radiation and involved in cognition and hormone production, in order to develop an atlas of brain regions to be avoided during radiotherapy.


Pediatric New Therapies Challenge Overview


This is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, trans-Atlantic Teams Research Team that includes expertise beyond paediatric oncology (e.g. other areas of oncology, biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, etc.) and investigating one or more of the following concepts: the basis of tumour initiation and progression; novel therapeutic approaches; development of novel biomarkers or methodologies to predict disease progression, to enhance efforts in primary and secondary prevention and intervention; novel models that would enhance pre-clinical research; development of more effective and/or less toxic treatments to improve long-term health and quality of life.

Research Team Members

Team Leader
Martin G. McCabe, MB/BChir, PhD
University of Manchester

Thomas E. Merchant, BS, DO, PhD
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Principal Investigator
Lara Barazzuol, PhD
University Medical Center Groningen

Project Manager
Kate Vaughan, PhD
University of Manchester

James Adams

Helen Bulbeck

Joshua Goddard

Adam Thomson

“This research could be a real game-changer for generations to come as we develop ways to deliver radiotherapy accurately to tumours but avoid sensitive areas of the brain and ultimately give patients much better lives.” 

Martin G. McCabe, MB/BChir, PhD
University of Manchester


Stand Up To Cancer’s research projects are designed to foster collaborative, swift translational research. The hallmarks of these efforts include rigorous application and selection procedures, sufficient funding to allow scientists to focus on the objectives of the grant, and reviews by senior scientists every six months. These reviews help the investigators capitalize on the latest findings, address potential roadblocks, and collaboratively evolve as the science requires. For the SU2C Gastric Cancer Interception Research Team, please click on the link below to see summaries of their research results so far.



This team started its work in January 2021. Links to publications will be posted when they are available.


Cancer clinical trials allow researchers to study innovative and potentially life-saving new treatments. The goal is to find treatments that are better than what’s currently available; in fact, the therapies offered to today’s cancer patients were almost all studied and made possible by people participating in clinical trials. But many cancer clinical trials aren’t completed because not enough people take part.

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