Worldwide, there are an estimated 240,000 cases of brain and nervous system tumours per year. GBM is the most frequent, aggressive and lethal of these tumours. Despite significant efforts over forty years, clinicians are as yet unable to offer GBM patients a curative therapy. New treatment options are urgently required and to address this deficit.

The GLIOTRAIN consortium (launched in September 2017) comprises 23 international organisations including leading international academics, clinicians, private sector and not-for-profit partners across the fields of brain tumour biology, multi-omics, drug development, clinical research, bioinformatics, computational modelling and systems biology.


Fifteen GLIOTRAIN sub-projects split into two scientific work packages will employ systems medicine, integrative multi-'omics and translational cancer biology platforms accessing clinically relevant models and patient data-sets. GLIOTRAIN will identify and interrogate novel therapeutic strategies for application in GBM, while simultaneously implementing state of the art next generation sequencing to unravel disease resistance mechanisms. The programme will implement systems-based analysis of known contributors of disease progression, as well as perform unbiased molecular profiling and computational modelling.

Work Package 1 (WP1) – GLIOTREAT 

There are 8 sub-projects in this WP, which is lead by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Other parties involved are the University of Stuttgart, Cancer Trials Ireland, In Silico Biotechnology, Yumab, ICM Institute for Brain and Spinal Cord, CarThera, VIB, Champions Oncology, Oncurious, Agilent Technologies, Erasmus University Medical Center and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.

WP Objective: New treatment strategies are urgently required to circumvent GBM disease 'fetters'. GLIOTRAIN will address this urgent issue using innovative approaches within WP1 underpinned by innovative systems medicine and/or integrative 'omic approaches and applying state-of-the-art disease models and drug delivery methods.

Work Package 2 (WP2) – GLIORESIST

There are 7 sub-projects in this WP which is lead by Vlaams Instituut for Biotechnology, Leuven. Other parties involved are the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, GeneXplain, ICM Institute for Brain and Spinal Cord, Luxembourg Institute of Health, ITTM, Agilent Technologies, Erasmus University Medical Center, Pepscope and Mimetas.

WP Objective: Intratumoural heterogeneity and cancer evolution contribute to therapy resistance and tumour aggressiveness. The mechanisms underpinning GBM inter/intra-tumoural heterogeneity and therapy resistance are not well understood. Thus, innovative in silico models, implementation of the newest 'omic platform technologies and new computational and integrative data analysis methods will be employed in WP2, (GLIORESIST) to interrogate these mechanisms.