Gliomas are tumours of the central nervous system (the spine or brain) starting in a particular type of cell called glial cells. They are the third and sixth most common tumour in middle-aged men and women, respectively. Gliomas are heterogeneous with various different subtypes being identified, and these differences reveal themselves in differing responses to therapy and differences in survival rates.
Typically, gliomas are associated with a poor prognosis or outcome irrespective of the care they’re given, with the most common type – glioblastoma multiforme – having an overall survival of only 15 months. It is hoped that the 100,000 Genomes Project will enable the identification of important genetic mutations from across the whole of the genome (in both the genome of the normal tissue and the tumour tissue), as so far it has been limited to only certain regions of the genome. Furthermore, it is hoped that the project will allow the various different types of glioma to be better understood and so allow better tailored treatment.