NORTH-EAST scientists are at the forefront of a groundbreaking research project aimed at beating childhood brain tumours.

The £4m study will explore new ways to treat some of the deadliest brain tumours affecting children.

The Newcastle University team, based at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research, will use cutting-edge screening techniques to identify critical genetic and biochemical features of aggressive brain tumours in young patients.

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By matching their laboratory findings to the progress of children with these tumours in the clinic, they hope to find out how such characteristics affect the way the tumours grow.

That information will be used to develop tailored treatments for different groups of youngsters, so therapies targeting specific tumour characteristics can be offered to those whose tumours are identified as most dangerous.

Co-funded by a £2m grant from The Brain Tumour Charity and Children with Cancer, the researchers hope the five-year project will eventually save lives.

That sum has been matched by a further £2m from other sources, including Great ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity.

The aim is to ensure that brain tumour research studies translate as quickly and effectively as possible into new treatments.