Brain tissue bank set to help cancer patients

Published: 20 September 2011

The UK’s first brain tumour tissue bank is being launched with support from the University of Glasgow.

The UK’s first brain tumour tissue bank is being launched with support from the University of Glasgow.

BBC Online: UK's first brain tissue bank launched in Glasgow

The bank, housed in Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital and known as ‘Charlotte’s Bank of Hope’ in memory of a teenager who died after developing a brain tumour, will be an invaluable repository of clinical information for scientific, academic and commercial researchers across the UK.

The large number of samples available to researchers through the new tissue bank will allow faster progress towards better treatments and help scientists across the world develop novel methods of treatment for a wide variety of brain tumours.

University of Glasgow Chair of Clinical Oncology Prof Anthony Chalmers, who led the project, said: "We hope this resource will transform research into brain tumours and serve as a source of material for researchers in the community throughout the UK.

“Everyone’s brain tumour is different, and the tissue bank is an important step on the way to understanding the challenges and possibilities of personalised medicine to treat individual cancers.

“By making this resource available to other researchers, not only here in the UK but also around the world, we increase the likelihood that some valuable piece of information will come out of it.

"The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research is perfectly placed to rake the lead on this. Our scientists have access to outstanding facilities and state-of-the-art services, and we are working hard to improve outcomes for cancer patients.”

The creation of the brain tissue bank was made possible by £30,000 in funding from brain cancer charity brainstrust and the work of volunteer Anita Smith, whose daughter Charlotte died aged 16 in 2008 from an aggressive brain tumour.

brainstrust director Helen Bulbeck, said: “By choosing to invest the money that Anita Smith and her amazing ‘Charlotte Smith Fund of Hope’ has raised into the tissue bank, this unique resource will give patients across the UK an even better chance in the future of specific treatments for their brain tumour.

“As there is no structured research base currently in existence for brain tumours, despite brain cancer killing more children than any other illness, all efforts to bring together research options are vital. We really look forward to working closely with the University of Glasgow and the Southern General Hospital as this project develops.”

The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research is one of Cancer Research UK’s core-funded institutes. The Institute’s staff carry out a programme of world-class science directed at understanding key aspects of cancer cell behaviour, and works to translate these discoveries into new therapies and diagnostic and prognostic tools to help cancer patients.

The Institute benefits from close interactions with the University of Glasgow, including links with the University’s Institute of Cancer Sciences.

For more information contact Ross Barker in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 3535 or email

 Notes to Editors


  • The University of Glasgow was the joint top rated University in Scotland in the 2011 National Students Survey, and joint seventh in the UK.

First published: 20 September 2011