Wear a Hat

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


It's Me

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


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.


Remember A Charity Week - Extreme Will Writing

7th - 13th September 2015








Brain Tumour Research is part of Remember A Charity - a consortium of over 140 charities set up to raise awareness of the importance of having a Will and leaving gifts to charities. Monday 7th September marks the start of Remember A Charity Week, in which charities nationwide encourage their supporters to consider leaving a gift in their Will. This year's theme is 'Extreme Will Writing'! Visit the Remember A Charity website to find out more. 


Take a look at our legacy page to find out how you could leave a legacy of hope for future brain tumour patients.


To tie-in with Remember A Charity Week, for next two weeks (7th to 21st September) Solicitor group B Legal have kindly agreed to waive the normal fees for writing a Will or mirror Wills, instead leaving a legacy of the fee that you would have paid them up to the value of £350 to Brain Tumour Research. You don’t necessarily need to complete your Will during this specific time-frame, you just need to confirm your legacy commitment to the charity. Find out more by clicking here


Your generosity now could lead to a cure, sooner. 

Pedal Power: District Line Staff Smash Target in Cycling Challenge!

On Sunday 23rd August, the District line Cycle Challenge saw a team of London Underground staff take on a 40-mile cross-London cycle inspired by former colleague Steve Lloyd's brain tumour battle.

The event has raised over £23,000 - an amazing total which is still rising! We'd like to send a huge thank you to everyone who took part for your dedicated support. This money will be funding vital long-term research at our Centres of Excellence - two of which are based in London.

A lifelong Hammers fan, Steve was joined at the Tower Hill finish line by West Ham full-back Carl Jenkinson, to greet the five teams as they completed the challenge! (Pictured left)

To see more of this great event in action, check out the video from the day

You can also read Steve's full story on our blog.

Top Chefs Support Host for Hope 2015

We are extremely pleased to announce three fantastic new recipes for our 2015 Host for Hope campaign!

Haute-cuisine treats provided by the collective talents of Antonio Favuzzi and Luca Terraneo, Head Chefs at stylish London eateries L’Anima restaurant and L’Anima café (respectively), and Chris Wheeler, Executive Head Chef at luxurious Buckinghamshire resort, Stoke Park, are now available as recipe cards on our Host for Hope webpage.

We’d like to extend our warmest thanks to all the fantastic chefs who have supported Host for Hope. Celebrated culinary names such as James Martin and Alain Roux have provided signature dishes for our downloadable recipe cards! 

Find out more about our foodie heroes on the
 Celebrity Chefs webpage.

You too can help feed vital research simply by hosting an event this summer. Get stuck in over on the Host for Hope webpage; jam-packed with event ideas, downloadable posters, recipe cards and campaign merchandise!


Help Feed Vital Research - Host for Hope!

Summer is upon us once more. While the weather may be unpredictable, one thing is certain: more and more of you want to help fund brain tumour research. You can tap into this momentum and help feed vital research by hosting a social get-together come rain or shine – pull out your picnic blankets, grease those baking trays, brush off your BBQs or just get the drinks in – any gathering with food or drink can be your Host for Hope event! 

Head over to our Host for Hope webpage now and get planning and promoting with our easy-to-download posters, recipes and place-cards! There is also a handy merchandise form with which you can order a great range of items to use at your event. 

Every slice, bite and sip will help fund our four dedicated Brain Tumour Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. We passionately believe that by working together to fund long-term and sustainable research, we will find a cure for this devastating disease. 


Invest In A Cure – that’s what we’ll be asking MPs to do now that the brain tumour All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has been re-established


Invest In a Cure Campaign With Us Brain Tumour APPG June 2015Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer... yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to this devastating disease.


This is unacceptable!


We are striving to fund a network of seven dedicated research centres whilst challenging the government and larger cancer charities to invest more in brain tumour research.


We also represent the united campaign voice of our Member Charities and Fundraising Groups across the UK, and we act as the Secretariat of the APPG, the vehicle within Westminster for raising awareness of brain tumours and influencing the national spend for research into this deadly disease.

The APPG was formally re-registered on 6th July 2015 – please encourage your local MP to support the group


At the current rate of spend, it could take 100 years for brain tumour research to catch up with developments in other diseases and find a cure.


We are urging the government and larger cancer charities to invest more in brain tumour research. We want the national spend to reach the level of £30 to £35 million per year by 2020.

Please campaign with us to make this happen and help us fund the fight. Together we will find a cure!



Remembering Emma Welch 16/04/01 - 04/06/15


On 4th June 2015, we received the devastating news that 14-year-old Emma Welch, one of our youngest and most dedicated fundraisers, had died following surgery to correct a scoliosis curvature on her spine.  Our hearts and deepest sympathies are with Emma’s parents, Tony and Lesley, in the pain of losing their adored child.  


Just five days before, Emma had achieved a World Record for the greatest number of teddy bears assembled on a mountain summit.

Ever since she learnt that her church minister, Andrew Stammers, had been diagnosed with a brain tumour, Emma did her utmost to raise awareness for the disease by taking on incredible challenges, despite her own condition. Emma's first fundraising idea to raise money for brain tumour research showed immediately how ambitious she was: she wanted to climb Mount Everest. At that time, she was just 12 years old and too young to climb the real peak, so instead she decided to reach the same height as Everest by ascending no fewer than 1,209 times on an indoor climbing wall, setting an unofficial word record as the youngest person to achieve this. In 2014, Emma completed a 1,000-mile cycling challenge, even though this caused her considerable pain as a result.

Andrew, who, amongst others, is trying to comfort the family in their time of grief, said: “Emma was an amazing young woman. Her passion and determination were exceptional. She put everyone before herself to raise awareness of brain tumours and to support vital research. She dedicated her young life in a way that was truly remarkable.

“Emma considered delaying her ascent of Snowdon with 135 teddies until after her surgery, so I am so glad she went ahead with it and we now have these wonderful memories and pictures of her from that day just last Saturday as a lasting legacy. Emma's parents have requested that anyone who wants to express their sympathies do so by making a donation on Emma's JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/Emma-Welch5/ rather than sending flowers. We know this is what Emma would have wanted.  In memory of Emma, let’s smash the fundraising target she set.”

At the request of the family we have also set up a mobile giving number as well: text EMMA15 £5 to 70070 to donate £5 All funds will go towards Brain Tumour Research.


Campaign With Us - Invest In A Cure

As new and re-elected MPs settle into the new parliament, we remain focused on applying persistent pressure at Westminster to open the door to greater funding for brain tumour research. 

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer... yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to this devastating disease.

This is unacceptable!

We are striving to fund a network of dedicated research centres whilst challenging the government and larger cancer charities to invest more in brain tumour research.

Our 'Invest In A Cure' Manifesto is calling for game-changing levels of commitment from the government, to improve the outcomes for brain tumour patients today and tomorrow. 

Please help us achieve real change by campaigning with us and engaging your local MP on the need to increase the funding for brain tumour research. Find out more and sign up.

Maisie Dury, pictured, was diagnosed with a brain tumour at only 2 years old. Her tumour was found before it was too late, and since then she has tirelessly worked to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research, and to raise research funding issues with the government. Read Maisie's story here.




We cannot thank you enough for taking part in Wear A Hat Day 2015: You have helped make it the biggest, boldest and HATTIEST by far!


You sent in your #Hatselfies, text donations and fundraising photos in your hundreds, really making the day come alive on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Visit our Storify page to see a selection of hatty highlights! 

We know you’ll be itching to pay your money in, so here are our top-tips:

• If you registered for your event you will have received a Fundraising Pack – in here is your paying-in slip. Please use this to pay in your funds and we can make sure you receive your thank you!

• If you didn’t register, or cannot find your paying-in slip give us a call on 01296 733011 and we can send you a new one. Or alternatively, you could send us a cheque. (Please quote your Wear A Hat Day reference number at all times)

• Visit our Pass The Hat webpage for more ways of depositing your funds!

The main fez-tivities may be over for another year but we know that many of you are holding other events in the coming weeks and months, so we would like to wish you every success!

Once again, a very warm thank you for making Wear A Hat Day 2015 truly TOP-HAT, and helping us to #FundTheFight.

Together we will find a cure.

Brain Tumour Research Calls on Government to Invest In A Cure


On Tuesday 17th March, we were joined at Westminster by many patients and their families, carers, scientists and other charities to jointly present the new Brain Tumour Research manifesto to MPs at Parliament.

The Invest In A Cure manifesto is an open invitation and call to action inviting the UK Government to work with Brain Tumour Research and its partner organisations to shine the spotlight on research funding, incentivise and prioritise treatment for brain tumour patients, and facilitate innovation by providing a dedicated fund for brain tumour research.

The manifesto launch took place at Speaker’s House within the House of Commons and was attended by over 100 of our supporters. It was hosted by charity patron and local MP Rt Hon John Bercow alongside actress and author Sheila Hancock, CBE. Both gave rousing speeches, setting the tone for what was a timely and poignant evening of raising awareness for this devastating disease. This was a landmark opportunity fo allow our collective voices to be heard in the corridors of Parliament during Brain Tumour Awareness Month (and beyond).

The event was covered across the UK both in the national and regional news and we created a real buzz on social media


Read our Invest In A Cure Manifesto here.


Read the official Press Release here

Picture The Day When We Can Cure Brain Tumours

March is by far the most powerful, poignant and important month of the year for Brain Tumour Research. Not only is it Brain Tumour Awareness Month but it is also the month for our favourite day of the year: WEAR A HAT DAY!

The awareness surrounding brain tumours is now far greater than it was 10 years ago, and the rate at which new people and organisations are offering to lend their time and effort to help maintain and grow the funds for long-term, life-saving brain tumour research is AMAZING. We are so grateful to our incredible family of supporters across the UK (and beyond!) who have grown with us over the years. Thanks to this support we were able to launch not one but two new Centres of Excellence in 2014, with our fourth Centre launch planned for later this year.

Wear A Hat Day 2014 funded an unprecedented 20 DAYS of research at each of our Centres of Excellence!

The Power of the Hat is clear to see and, with interest for 2015 already doubling from this time last year, we are confident that this year’s event will smash previous records for both funding and awareness.

Keep up to date with all our latest news, events and progress by following us on social media - especially Facebook, Twitter and #Hattastic Instagram.

Thank you all for helping us fund the fight. Together we will find a cure.  

2015: Closer To A Cure

Visit our blog (here) to read Chief Executive Sue Farrington Smith's New Year Message in which she ponders the incredible year just gone, the exciting year ahead and of course all that we have acheived together since Brain Tumour Research was launched in 2009. 

"We need you to help us raise money to fund seven centres of excellence, to ensure that the causes of brain tumour are identified, to ensure that every aspect of brain tumours is understood, to ensure that all 120+ types of brain tumours are being researched, to ensure that treatments that will improve outcomes are discovered and to ensure that a cure for brain tumours will be found"


Why do brain tumours remain such an overlooked cancer?

We took our questions and policy change recommendations directly to Parliament. 


On the evening of 15th December, we brought together a select group of MPs to meet with campaigners at the House of Commons to highlight the discrepancies in cancer research funding. MPs were presented with a set of stark facts and we outlined key policy changes the government could make to champion the fight against the disease.

Read the full press release here.

Find out how you can help lobby for change here.

Pioneering with Plymouth: Historic new chapter in cancer research begins as we launch the UK’s first Research Centre of Excellence into low-grade brain tumours at Plymouth University

Patients, carers, scientists, clinicians and charities from across the UK gathered on 20th November for the launch of an historic new partnership. Together with Plymouth University we have established a new Research Centre of Excellence, bringing some of the most overlooked forms of brain tumours into sharp focus.

Around 4,300 people are diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour in the UK each year. The new Centre of Excellence sits within Plymouth University Schools of Dentistry and Medicine and is being led by Professor Oliver Hanemann. With an already established reputation as a leading facility in Europe looking at low-grade brain tumours, the results from this research will inform investigations into high-grade tumours as high and low-grade tumours share some common features. The team are working in collaboration with scientists based at Brain Tumour Research’s network of Centres of Excellence across the UK.



Read the full press release here.

Learn more about the partnership on Plymouth University’s website.

Find out more about our Centres of Excellence here.


Bringing new hope to the 16,000 people who are diagnosed with brain tumours each year

Thursday 23rd October saw the official launch of our new Centre of Excellence at the Blizard Institute in Whitechapel, London, in partnership with Queen Mary University of London and in collaboration with the UCL Institute of Neurology.


The event was hosted by our Patron the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, and we were joined by over 100 supporters, scientists and charities from across the UK for a tour the laboratories and to witness the formal unveiling of a new ‘Wall of Hope’.


Guests were given a short presentation about the groundbreaking research being carried out by the research team and about our mission to fund long-term research by building the "critical mass" of research teams which will bring the UK to the forefront of brain tumour research and significantly improve outcomes for brain tumour patients in the future.


Read the full Press Release here.

Pattern of genetic 'switches' found to help identify reasons why 30% of breast cancers spread to the brain


Researchers at the University of Wolverhampton have studied 24 breast cancers that had spread to the brain and found a pattern - a handful of genes with faulty switches.


We have long spoken about the fact that 30% of breast cancers spread to the brain. This breakthrough could mean that the risk can be assessed at a much earlier stage and so caught, before the cancer metastases from primary breast cancer to secondary cancer in the brain.



Read more of our statistics here

Read Cancer Research UK's full press release here

Let's Conquer it Together!


There's never been a better time to join our #FightingForce and with our Conquer it Together campaign, you can overcome a personal challenge or take on something completely daring and unexpected all whilst raising vital funds for Brain Tumour Research!


Why not step outside your comfort zone to achieve a rewarding goal or realise a long-held ambition? Challenge your friends, family and colleagues to do the same and you will be helping to fund long-term sustainable research into brain tumours. 


There are so many ways you can get involved, get some inspiration from our Conquer it Together Heroes page; order some merchandise and advertise your challenge using our downloadable materials and social media pages and together we will be moving one step closer to a cure. 

A milestone in brain tumour research: the UK's first national networked brain tumour tissue archive

A new collaboration announced today gives unprecedented access to brain tumour tissue for research


Operating at the University of Southampton, BRAIN UK will link existing archives of brain tumour tissue in a virtual network so that researchers can gain access to unprecedented levels of tissue to support their much needed research into better treatments and a cure for brain cancer.

Creation of the network was led by brainstrust and supported by a wider group of brain tumour charities including Brain Tumour Research, Charlie's Challenge and Sophie's Wish. The Brain Tumour Archive Network will support a diverse range of brain tumour research projects and change the face of neuro-oncology research. Read the full press release here.

New research presented to MPs reveals startling new fact:

one in 50 people who die under the age of 60 die from a brain tumour

In our new report, presented to MPs at Westminster on July 1st, we update on the groundbreaking National Research Funding report, published in July last year. It presents stark new facts about the impact of this devastating disease.

Startlingly, one in 50 people who die under the age of 60 years are dying from brain cancer. And, just as shockingly, 71% of those who die of a brain tumour will be under 75 years old, compared to 47% for all cancers.


Brain Tumour Research brought together leading research scientists in the field of brain tumour research along with patients and their families to meet MP David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, and present the findings. 


The group presented two critical issues to the Minister, asking for clarification around funding flows and the need for a complete register of research taking place in the UK.


Read our full press release here and download the Report Update PDF here. Click here to view previous published reports. 


Please sign our e-petition today.


New hope for 16,000 people diagnosed with brain tumours each year as three new research partnerships are announced at Speaker’s House

Patients, carers, scientists, clinicians and charities from across the UK head to Westminster for the launch of ground-breaking new collaborative partnerships between Brain Tumour Research and Research Centres of Excellence. The announcement opens a new chapter in long-term sustainable and continuous research into the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40. 

After a robust selection process including the formation of a Scientific and Medical Advisory Board and completing a series of stringent international peer reviews, we are very pleased to launch partnerships with three new Research Centres, paving the way for a £20 million investment in brain tumour research over the next five years. The new Centres are: Queen Mary University of London in collaboration with UCL Institute of NeurologyImperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (London) and Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.


Read the full press release here.



Eight institutions are bidding to be the new Brain Tumour Research
Centre of Excellence

Eight leading British universities and hospitals have been shortlisted in a stringent, peer-reviewed selection process to become the next Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence.


Institutions Bidding To Become New Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence Funding the Fight

The successful institution will enter a funding partnership with us, defining a new chapter in long-term research. Our detailed analysis of the funding flows for brain tumours shows they still receive less than 1% of the national spend on cancer research, despite more children and adults under 40 dying of a brain tumour than any other cancer, and an increasing trend in diagnoses and deaths from this devastating disease.


Our unique national strategy means we will be providing 100% of our funds to support sustainable and continuous ground-breaking world class research at two Centres of Excellence from 2014. 

The eight applicants include:

  1. The Blizard Institute at Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, in collaboration with UCL Institute of Neurology
  2. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (London)
  3. Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast
  4. University of Bristol
  5. The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust (Liverpool)
  6. The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)
  7. Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry
  8. Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, School of Cancer Sciences

Our vision is to establish seven such centres around the UK. We expect this process to result in closer ties with all these leading centres (and indeed other establishments that were interested but could not apply this time for various reasons) and unsuccessful applicants on this occasion will be encouraged to re-apply to be among our future centres. Read the full press release here


Brain tumours are the leading cause of cancer deaths in the young - and research funding is falling

In another pioneering report, we shed more light onto the controversial lack of funding into the deadliest form of cancer for the under 40s.

Exclusive report into funding for brain tumour researchAlmost three quarters (73%) of brain tumour deaths occur in those under 75. For cancer as a whole, deaths under 75 are less than a half (47%). Yet brain cancer continues to receive less than 1% of the national spend on cancer research. An exclusive new report released on 1st July by Brain Tumour Research shows that treatments for brain tumours lag seriously behind other cancers. 


For the full press release on this story please click here and for the full report click here. For more information about our groundreaking reports please visit our Published Reports page.


Our mission is to raise £7 million a year to fund world-class sustainable and continuous scientific research into all types of brain tumours in seven Centres of Excellence across the UK. Our centres will work together sharing knowledge locally, nationally and internationally to find a cure for brain tumours whilst educating the next generation of leading neuro-oncologists.

Can you Sponsor a Day of Research to help us achieve our mission? Click here to find out more or call 01296 733011 or email info@braintumourresearch.org for more information. Thank you.

HeadSmart Campaign

The HeadSmart campaign is run by a partnership between Brain Tumour Research member charity the Children's Brain Tumour Research Centre (CBTRC) at the University of Nottingham, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and The Brain Tumour Charity (TBTC), and has been funded by The Health Foundation and TBTC.


Research has shown that there is considerable variation in the time taken to diagnose childhood brain tumours in the UK. Half of all children and young people diagnosed with a brain tumour take longer than three months to be diagnosed. The aim of the HeadSmart campaign is to reduce the time taken to diagnose brain tumours so that all children and young people with a brain tumour are diagnosed within five weeks of developing symptoms or signs of a brain tumour.

The Diagnosis of brain tumours in Children guideline was produced by the CBTRC, with funding from the Big Lottery Fund in conjunction with the TBTC. In 2008 the guideline was appraised and endorsed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH). The guideline advises healthcare professionals on the identification, assessment and investigation of children presenting with symptoms and signs that could be caused by a brain tumour.

The symptoms covered by the guideline have also been used to produce age-specific symptom cards in order to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms among parents and young people.

Download the symptom cards   

We think this is a fantastic initiative and plan to be working with TBTC and other members of the Brain Tumour Consortium on a similar initiative to speed up diagnosis for adults.  

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We aim to fund brain tumour research in the same way as leukaemia, breast and other cancers will you help us?