University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham
B15 2TT Birmingham
United Kingdom

Principal Investigator

Prof. Wiebke Arlt

Prof. Wiebke Arlt


Institute Presentation

The Steroid Research Group within the Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism (CEDAM) at the University of Birmingham has a longstanding research focus on the pre-receptor regulation of steroid action. Steroid analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and, most recently, by liquid chromatography/ tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) is a key technique within the group and has been successfully used as a discovery tool and diagnostic translational applications. Professor Arlt is the workpackage leader for steroid analysis for the FP7 Project EuroDSD and sits on the steering committees of the European Science Foundation-funded European Network of the Study of Adrenal Tumours (ENS@T) and the UK & Ireland Neuroendocrine Tumours (UKINETS) network.
The current set-up of the Steroid Mass Spectrometry Core Facility within CEDAM at the University of Birmingham comprises a two Agilent GC/MS set-ups and a Waters LC/MS/MS machine. Staff includes two research technicians with advanced expertise in GC/MS and LC/MS/MS and a biochemist as well as two computer scientists. The facility is overseen by Profs W. Arlt and P.M. Stewart, supported by the world-leading expertise of Prof Cedric Shackleton. The current retrospective urine collection of adrenal tumour patients totals more than 1000 samples, with ongoing prospective collection by European ENS@T centres and UK Centres organised in the UK Adrenocortical Tumour Network (UK-ACT).

University of Birmingham will lead WP2 and participate in WP1, WP3, and WP4. The main tasks of UBIR include:

  • Expansion of the local biobank to an ENS@T-ACC urine biobank
  • Identification of steroid markers indicating malignancy of an adrenocortical tumour
  • Determination of the sensitivity of steroid markers as compared to imaging in the postoperative follow-up of patients with apparently complete tumour removal
  • Identification of steroid markers indicative of treatment response and their usefulness in monitoring treatment response/disease progression in advanced and metastatic ACC