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Professor Chris Jones heads the ICR’s Glioma Team whose research aims to find the genes which drive the development of childhood brain tumours.

He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, and is Biology Lead for the International Society for Paediatric Oncology European High Grade Glioma Working Group.

“Our ambitions within the laboratory are to turn some of our laboratory-based hypotheses into real, molecularly-based treatments for malignant paediatric gliomas, and to see, at last, real progress being made in the survival of children with these dreadful cancers.”

Key achievements for the team:

In recent years, the team has built up an international reputation in the field. Their major achievements include:

  • The earliest comprehensive molecular studies of paediatric glioblastoma and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), with subsequent landmark characterisation of >1000 such tumours, and >200 infant glioma. This highlighted subgroup-specific biological characteristics and drug targets.
  • Discovery of mutations in the novel cancer gene called ACVR1 in DIPG, subsequent development and testing of novel drugs, and generating data to support the first clinical trials of a true childhood brain tumour-specific target.
  • Unravelling of the mechanism by which histone G34 mutations cause paediatric glioblastoma, and are derived from neurons, rather than glial cells.
  • Detailed mapping of different regions of DIPG samples, and identification of how tumour cells ‘co-operate’ with each other to drive cancer development.
  • Prof Jones is the Biology Lead for the largest randomised clinical trial in non-brainstem paediatric HGG (HERBY) and the UK arm of the largest stratified trial ever undertaken in DIPG (BIOMEDE), as well as Preclinical Lead of the international CONNECT clinical trials network in childhood brain tumours.