A NURSE from Blandford who suffered from a brain tumour is supporting new research for a first-ever potential tumour drug treatment.

In landmark findings, researchers have identified four distinct groups of the meningioma tumour, which can be used to predict how tumours will behave and when the disease may return more accurately.

The study, part funded by The Brain Tumour Charity, is expected to transform practice globally, defining a new classification able to be tested for in cancer centres around the world. The system will help doctors give a more accurate prognosis and identify patients that may benefit from having more aggressive treatment earlier.

Nurse and mother-of-two Tammy Andrews, 47, was diagnosed with a meningioma brain tumour in 2019. She began noticing changes to her vision in February of that year and after numerous GP visits and an MRI scan, her diagnosis was confirmed.

Bournemouth Echo: Tammy Andrews was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2019. Picture: The Brain Tumour CharityTammy Andrews was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2019. Picture: The Brain Tumour Charity

She underwent a seven-hour craniotomy and the majority of the tumour was successfully removed.

Tammy said: “Initially when I was told by the neurologist that I had a brain tumour, I thought that it meant my life was over.

“Even after my operation I still had the same thought because I still had some residual tumour, so I thought my life expectancy would still be limited.

“However, after discovering the brain tumour support group on Facebook and signing up to ‘BRIAN’, an app to help track my journey, my outlook changed. I quickly learned that I needed to raise awareness of meningiomas and the importance of fundraising for research, because a cure can’t wait.

Bournemouth Echo: Tammy Andrews. Photo: The Brain Tumour CharityTammy Andrews. Photo: The Brain Tumour Charity

“I knew that I had a duty to help out – I couldn’t just sit around hoping, praying and waiting for help or for a cure when I wasn’t putting any money in the pot to get that help and much-needed answers.

“This truly is a significant research milestone which will enable meningioma brain tumours to be analysed and classified, and hopefully in future targeted with an effective medical therapy that could save lives.”

Crucially, the scientists — led by Dr Farshad Nassiri and Professor Gelareh Zadeh at the University of Toronto — found that lymphoma drug vorinostat could target the most aggressive sub-group and slowed tumour growth in cell-lines, with experts now calling for clinical trials.

More than 12,000 people are diagnosed with a primary brain tumour each year in the UK.

Visit thebraintumourcharity.org for more information.