The Copenhagen Brain Tumor Consortium (The Glio Project)


Glioblastoma, the most deadly primary brain malignancy in adults, is associated with short survival, uniformly fatal outcome and lack of effective therapeutic options. About 13,000 people each year are diagnosed with GBM in Europe. GBM accounts for about 15% of all brain tumors and occurs in adults primarily between the ages of 45 to 70 years. Surgical resection is beneficial but never curative and commonly followed by chemoradiotherapy plus adjuvant chemotherapy with temozolomide, which offers only palliation with modest effects on improving patient’s survival.

Primary gliomas of lower malignancy can transform over years to malignant gliomas and occurs in younger patient with peak incidence at 30 years. Although better diagnosis up-front the lifetime expentancy is shorterened and a definity cure is still avaiting. A small subgroup of gliomas are cured by surgery alone and other subgroups have better prognosis with time to progression and malignant transformation.

But even with aggressive surgical resection using state-of-art preoperative and intraoperative neuromonitoring, along with recent advances in radio- and chemotherapy, the prognosis remains dismal. Particular challenges in glioma management include the striking therapeutic resistance of these tumors resulting in rapid and aggressive relapses, invasion of tumor into normal brain preventing curative surgical resection, distinct intra- and inter-tumoral heterogeneity and limitations on delivery of therapeutics because of the blood-brain barrier. Extensive expensive research is carried out aiming at identifying the mechanisms for treatment resistance and new treatment options. However, heterogenicity of the tumors challenges the findings and basic research is dependent on clinical data to overcome varying results. The new WHO classification released in 2016 is a result of such work illuminating molecular subtypes of GBMs, which have increased prognostic impact and may guide treatment decisions.


The Copenhagen brain tumor consortium and “Glioproject”

The Copenhagen Brain Tumor Consortium is a multi-institutional collaboration between Department of Neurosurgery, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen and the Danish Cancer Society, Petra Hamerlik. The Brain Tumor Consortium has established a biobank (“the Glioproject”) with tissue and blood collection as well as clinical data (according to standard operating procedure corresponding to world standards) from patients with glial brain tumors (high grades and low grades) treated at Department of Neurosurgery, Rigshospitalet. The biobank comprises material from nearly 600 patients, rising to around 1000 patients within the next 3 years. Through national as well as international collaborations (number of ongoing research projects) this unique and comprehensive material is used for translational projects with high scientific impact. An emerging number of important mechanisms has already been identified based on material from the biobank, which may lead to improved treatment options towards a more individual and personalized treatment for glioma patients.


For an overview of the PhD students and post docs in the group, please follow this link.

The group leaders for the Glio project are: Jane Skjøth-Rasmussen, Head of Neurooncological team, Neurosurgical Department, Rigshospitalet and Petra Hamerlik, Danish Cancer Society.