Virgin London Marathon 2017 Ballot 


The ballot for entry into one of the most iconic races in the world opens Monday 2nd May - Friday 6th May.

Now is your opportunity to help us get closer to a cure for brain tumours.

All runners joining our team will receive: 

  • Customised runner vest with name of your choice
  • Fundraising help (Assistance in setting up your online fundraising page and general tips along the way)
  • Facebook Support Group
  • Post Marathon Reception

Visit the official ballot page to apply. 

We’d love to hear if you’ve applied and are planning to run for Brain Tumour Research. Please drop us an email

Fancy a different challenge?

Visit our new Calendar of Events page and take your pick from our list of exciting opportunities to help get closer to a cure in 2016! 


Take on an abseil with Brain Tumour Research


We have two fantastic and daring abseil challenges coming up this summer -- do you have what it takes to challenge yourself and raise funds for vital, life-saving brain tumour research?

On the weekend of 14th/15th May, we're looking for a team of thrill-seekers to take on Portsmouth's iconic Spinnaker Tower. With dizzying heights and stunning views, it's bound to be an experience to remember. Find out more, or contact Tim to secure your spot.

Or perhaps you'd prefer an abseil with a splash of something different? Then join us in abseiling down all 229 feet of Lady Exmouth Watefall at Canonteign Falls, right in the heart of the gorgeous Teign Valley in Devon. See more details here, or contact Peter to register now.


UK Government acknowledges more must be done

for brain tumour patients

The UK Government has formally acknowledged that more needs to be done for brain tumour patients and their families.

Health Minister George Freeman MP announced a package of measures at a Westminster Hall debate on Monday 18th April which was prompted by an e-petition launched by the family of Stephen Realf, lost to a brain tumour at the age of 26, and backed by Brain Tumour Research.

Our Chief Executive, Sue Farrington Smith, who lost her niece Alison Phelan to a brain tumour just before her eighth birthday, said: "I am immensely proud that, with the support of thousands of patients, families and activists, the woeful underfunding of this dreadful disease has now been acknowledged. Finally, our voices have been heard and the work of the past 15 years has not been in vain.

The Government will:

  • Set up a “Task and Finish” working group at the Department of Health looking at areas highlighted by the Petitions Committee report.
  • Request the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) produce a national register within a year to examine how public funds are spent on research.
  • Seek to improve levels of earlier diagnosis and include brain cancer in the Genomics England programme.

Read our full press release here


If you would like to receive our campaigning updates via email and are interested in learning about our future lobbying events, please register your details with us here.


Spring 2016 Believe Magazine Now Available

The newest edition of Believe - our news magazine for brain tumour activists - is now available! Check it out, along with our past issues, here!

It's packed with great stories, including exciting research advancements, marvelous fundraising achievements and hints and tips for you to raise awareness on social media! Read all of this and more online here.

If you do not receive our mailings and would like us to send you a copy (or even a box to distribute!) please contact us. If you would like your story featured in a future issue of Believe, please contact Natasha with your story. 


It's Me

We share the personal stories behind the devastating statistics as patients, parents and loved ones detail their brain tumour experiences. 

Launch of the Grand Challenge with Dr Hadwen Trust 

On 3rd December, we were proud to launch the Grand Challenge in partnership with the Dr Hadwen Trust at our flagship Research Centre of Excellence in the University of Portsmouth.

We were thrilled to be joined at this exciting event by many supporters, patients and scientists, all eager to share their experiences and help make a real difference to the future of brain tumour research.

The Grand Challenge is raising funds for a specific research project into crossing the blood-brain barrier, which stops most standard cancer drugs from treating brain tumours. The three-year project will cost £180,000.

Professor Geoff Pilkington, lead scientist within the Cellular and Molecular Neuro-Oncology Group at the University, gave a fascinating talk on how this ground-breaking research is to be conducted, using a unique "all human" 3D model of the blood-brain barrier. It is hoped that the success of this project will help reduce the need for animal testing in medical research in the future, and make significant advancements in the treatments available for brain tumour patients. 

The Grand Challenge has already attracted support from actor Peter Egan (pictured above left, alongside Prof Geoff Pilkington, right), seen recently in ITV’s gritty drama Unforgotten, and actress Anna Chancellor (Kavanagh QC and Four Weddings and a Funeral). 

Could you and your friends, family or colleagues raise a grand to help us cross the blood-brain barrier?
Find out how you can get involved here!


Official Launch of Fourth Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence 

On 25th September, patients, carers, scientists, clinicians and charities from across the UK gathered in London for the launch of our fourth Centre of Excellence, in partnership with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London. The centre joined our three others based at Queen Mary University of London, and universities at in Portsmouth and Plymouth.

The new centre was chosen after a rigorous selection process including international peer review. While existing centres are led by neuroscientists, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust’s is the first in the charity’s network to be headed up by a pioneering brain surgeon, Mr Kevin O’Neill:

“We must fight this disease until we have a cure and we remain committed to doing all we can to improve outcomes for patients.

As a brain surgeon, it’s my job is to go in and remove brain tumours, but I know all too well that this isn’t enough to remove the cancer. Working with a team of researchers, we are exploring novel treatments to halt brain tumour cell invasion into healthy brain tissue.

I am delighted to be working with Brain Tumour Research to help push forward scientific frontiers to bring us closer to a cure.”

The research and fundraising partnership between Brain Tumour Research and the Trust aims to raise £1 million a year towards new studies involving clinicians at the Trust’s neuro-oncology unit at Charing Cross Hospital and working with scientists from Imperial College London.

The occasion also saw the unveiling of a new Wall of Hope. Each day of research costs £2,740 and is represented by unique tiles on the wall which are dedicated to patients, their families, friends and corporate supporters. (Find out more about our Walls of Hope here)

The event gained considerable attention in the media and was featured by BBC London, BBC Norfolk and Charity Today.

A huge thank you to all our supporters who made the day possible. We are now over half-way towards our aim of creating a network of seven dedicated research centres. 

Together we will find a cure. 

To donate £5, text RSCH01 £5 to 70070



The iKnife: A new era for the treatment of brain tumours

In its first patient trial, run by the scientists at the forefront of our Research Centre of Excellence at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, the iKnife has successfully proven its ability to accurately identify brain tumour tissue. This offers real-time analysis and therefore, immediate treatment options. The whole process takes a couple of seconds and is entirely non-invasive. 


"Advances in brain tumour surgery such as this are very exciting and gives hope to the thousands of patients and their families diagnosed with a brain tumour each year.


"We are proud to be partnered with Kevin O’Neill and his pioneering team who are leading our Brain Tumour Research Centre at Imperial College. Our mission is to build a network of experts in the field of brain tumour research to improve outcomes for patients and ultimately find a cure. This technique and forthcoming trial will bring us a huge step forward in achieving our aims." Brain Tumour Research Chief Executive, Sue Farrington Smith.


Read more about the iKnife trial and advancements here.


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