Brain Tumour Conference 2022

The Cancer Research Brain Tumour Conference, 5-7 September 2022


Monday 5 September 2022

9.45 - 11.00

Registration, networking and poster set-up 

11.00 - 11.15


Richard Gilbertson, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, UK

11.15 - 12.15

Opening keynote

Paul Mischel, M.D, Stanford University, US

12.15 - 13.15 

Networking lunch, poster viewing and exhibition

13.15 - 14.50

Synaptogenesis and brain cancer

Communication between neurons and brain cancer cells, both in primary gliomas and brain metastases, is a fundamental component of brain tumour pathophysiology. Neuronal activity drives brain tumour growth through secreted growth factors and direct electrochemical synaptic communication. On the other hand, brain tumours influence neuronal function, increasing neuronal activity and modulating the function of the circuits into which cancer cells structurally and electrically integrate. Understanding the two-way interactions between nervous system and cancer cells could improve understanding of brain tumour initiation and progression, and identify new targets for therapy.  

Chair and speaker: Steve Pollard, University of Edinburgh, UK 

Speakers: Michelle Monje, Stanford University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, US 

Shawn Hervey-Jumper, University of California San Francisco, US 

14.50 - 15.20

Networking break and exhibition

15.20 - 17.20

Tools to manipulate the nervous system

Brain tumours have proved challenging to treat, largely owing to the biological characteristics of these cancers. Research at the interface of fields and disciplines holds great promise in advancing our understanding and treatment of brain tumours. For example, novel tools and technologies from the field of neuroscience could be used to probe the workings of the complex network of neurons and supporting cells and their contributions to brain tumour development, whilst innovations in drug delivery could radically improve current treatments.  


Chair and speaker: Giuseppe Battaglia, Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies - ICREA Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) - Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), Spain 

Speakers: Polina Anikeeva, MIT, US 

Yoon Seok Kim, Stanford University, US

Simon Walker-Samuel, University College London, UK 

17.20 - 18.10

The Great Debate: “Early detection should not be the focus of our investment in brain tumour research.”  

Early detection provides a major opportunity for improved outcomes in many hard-to-treat cancers but remains exceptionally challenging for brain tumours, as patients often present with non-specific symptoms that are commonly associated with less serious conditions. As new opportunities emerge to identify high risk populations, and technological advances are enabling the development of less invasive detection and monitoring strategies, perhaps this paradigm needs shifting? 


Chair: Richard Gilbertson, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, UK

Speakers: Michelle Monje, Stanford University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, US  

Peter Dirks, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, CA  

18.10 - 19.10 Networking drinks and poster session




Tuesday 6 September 2022

08.00 - 08.45

Registration, networking and poster set-up

08.45 - 10.45

Stem cells and the developmental origins of brain tumours

Evidence that brain tumours are a consequence of aberrant brain development or repair highlights the importance of closer integration between neurobiology, neurodevelopment and cancer research. Understanding and exploring the links between normal neurogenesis and brain tumours, deciphering the contribution of stem cells and cell fate decisions to the development of brain tumours, and how brain tumour stem cells drive tumour progression and recurrence will help us to understand the origins of the disease.  


Chair and speaker: Simona Parrinello, University College London, UK 

Speakers: Richard Gilbertson, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, UK 

Peter Dirks, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, CA 

Luis Parada, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, US

10.45 - 11.15

Networking break and exhibition

11.15 - 13.15

Neuro-immunology and therapeutic opportunities

Immunotherapy holds great promise as a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of patients with brain tumours but many aspects of the unique immunological and microenvironmental status of the brain remain poorly understood. For example, elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying nervous and immune system interactions, how these are co-opted in brain tumours and identifying the optimal targets of immunotherapies, such as CAR-T cells, can lead to the development of novel immunotherapy strategies for patients with brain tumours and provide insight into the immune mechanisms that mediate responses and resistance to immunotherapy.   


Chair and speaker: Silvia Marino, Barts and The London Medical School, Queen Mary University of London, UK 

Speakers: Karin Straathof, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, UK 

Jonathan Kipnis, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, US 

Hideho Okada, University of California San Francisco, US 

Dirk Sieger, University of Edinburgh, UK 

13.15 - 14.10

Networking lunch, poster viewing and exhibition

14.10 - 16.10

Understanding the microenvironment and new therapeutic opportunities

To obtain a complete understanding of the brain tumour biology and how it impacts treatment, we need a thorough understanding of the properties and functions of the tumour microenvironment. Exploring how the tumour microenvironment – from the extracellular matrix to cell-cell interactions – modulates tumour biology, maintains glioma stem cells and directs their fate choices puts brain tumours into context. Understanding how these factors contribute to therapeutic efficacy and resistance will help us guide development of improved therapies.  


Chair and speaker: Gabriele Bergers, Vlaams Institute of Biotechnology (VIB) - KU Leuven, Belgium 

Speakers: Valerie Weaver, University of California San Francisco, US 

Adrienne Boire, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, US 

Harry Bulstrode, Francis Crick Institute and National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UK 

Frank Winkler, University of Heidelberg, and German Cancer Research Center, Germany 

16.10 - 16.40

Networking break

16.40 - 17.55

Future leaders’ session - part one 


Choroid plexus orchestrates anti-cancer immunity in leptomeninges  

Jan Remsik, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, US 


Glioma synapses recruit mechanisms of adaptive plasticity  

Kathryn R. Taylor, Stanford University, US 


SOX2 is sequestered to heterochromatin on mitotic chromosomes to limit genomic damage 

Charles Williams, University of Edinburgh, UK 


Integrated PDX analysis, single-cell profiling and computational modeling to reveal route-specific mechanisms of GBM invasion 

Milena Doroszko, Uppsala University, Sweden


Targeting regulatory CD4 T cells in glioblastoma (GBM) using ADCC optimized anti-CD25 promotes tumour control and synergizes with anti-EGFRvIII tumour-targeting antibodies

Felipe Galvez-Cancino, UCL Cancer Institute, UK 

17.55 - 18.45

Networking drinks and poster session

19.00 - late

Conference dinner - The Reveller at the Tower of London 

Tower of London – East Gate 

The Wharf 

London EC3N 4AB 


Wednesday 7 September 2022

10.00 - 10.05

Michelle Monje, Stanford University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, US

10.05 - 11.05

Keynote lecture

Sally Temple, Neural Stem Cell Institute, US

11.05 - 11.20

Networking break and exhibition

11.20 - 13.15

Targeted therapies and precision medicine 

New technologies allow characterisation of complex biological systems in immense detail and multi-omics analyses are key to informing disease mechanisms and advancing precision medicine in the clinic. Utilisation of technological advances to address a diverse set of questions from genomic classifications of brain tumours to assessing the efficacy of drug combinations, as well as learning how to best integrate these rich data streams, is key to developing targeted treatment approaches.  


Chair and speaker: Neil Carragher, Cancer Research UK Scotland Centre, University of Edinburgh, UK 

Speakers: Richard Mair, University of Cambridge, UK 

Mariella Filbin, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, US 

Nada Jabado, McGill University, CA 

13.15 - 14.00

Networking lunch and exhibition

14.00 - 14.20

Future Leaders session – part two 

Chair: Richard Gilbertson, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, UK 


Functional single-cell proteomics of glioblastoma defines extensive drug response heterogeneity and therapy-induced cellular plasticity 

Dena Panovska, PhD student, KU Leuven 


Development of a novel mouse model of ZFTA-RELA fusion ependymoma 

Sigourney Bell, PhD student, University of Cambridge 


Reprogramming Brain Immunosurveillance of Tumors with Engineered Cytokines 

Anthony Tabet, PhD student, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT 


Drug Delivery to a Diffuse Midline Glioma Model Using Short-pulse Focused Ultrasound and Microbubble Exposure 

Dani Chattenton, PhD student, The Institute of Cancer Research, UK 

14.20 - 16.00

Optimising Efficacy and Reducing Toxicity  

Anticancer treatment is often accompanied by debilitating adverse effects. A comprehensive approach to predicting, preventing and ameliorating long-lasting adverse effects associated with long-term treatment should include a range of approaches. For example, understanding the cellular and molecular underpinnings of the disorders can facilitate new therapeutic strategies, improved insight into tumour biology can guide adjustment of treatment intensity, and leveraging of big data and computational tools can help determine tumour response earlier in the course of treatment. All of these hold promise to reduce the risk of treatment-related toxicities, especially among children. 


Chair and speaker: Erin Gibson, Stanford University, US  

Speakers: Sven Nelander, Uppsala University Sweden  

Misty Jenkins, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Aus  

16.00 - 16.15

Closing remarks and poster prizes