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Our Work in Parliament

Just 1% of national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours

Parliamentary questions

Parliamentary Questions (PQs) are questions formally put forward by Parliamentarians to members of the Government.

PQs are a very useful way  getting insight into what the Government’s policy is on a particular issue or what action has been taken.

As PQs must be answered, they also help us  to raise awareness of an issue and to keep pressing for change.

Questions can be asked either orally or in writing, and an answer is expected in around a week in the House of Commons and two weeks in the House of Lords, though there is no formal rule guaranteeing these timeframes.

PQs are a vital piece of the political  toolkit for Brain Tumour Research, our campaigners and our supporters at Westminster.

APPGBT March 2019

Written Question

Nadia Whittome

Asked on: 1 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made for the implications of his policies of the findings of the Level Up and Stop the Devastation Report from Brain Tumour Research on creating a dedicated levelling up brain tumour research fund.

Answered by: Maria Caulfield

Answered on: 1 November 2021

The Department agrees further brain tumour research is vital for improving the treatment and outcome for these patients. In 2018, we announced £40 million over five years for the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission via the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). To encourage applications for this research, the NIHR is supporting the research community in submitting fundable proposals. The NIHR also continues to encourage brain tumour research applications. We therefore have no plans for a dedicated fund.

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Written Question

Nadia Whittome

Asked on: 27 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve outcomes for brain tumour patients.

Answered by: Maria Caulfield

Answered on: 27 October 2021

In May 2018 we announced £40 million over five years for brain tumour research to improve outcomes for cancer patients as part of the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission through the National Institute for Health Research . Since this announcement, 10 applications for research have been funded and seven are under consideration. The NHS Long Term Plan set out a series of commitments that focus primarily on fast and early diagnosis for all cancers including raising greater awareness of symptoms of cancer, lowering the threshold for referral by general practitioners and accelerating access to diagnosis investing in rapid diagnostic centres. These measures, aimed at improving cancer outcomes for all cancers, will benefit brain tumour patients.

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Written Question

Caroline Dinenage

Asked on: 27 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much and what proportion of his Department’s cancer research budget was spent on childhood cancer research in the last three years; and if he breakdown those figures by types of childhood cancer that received that funding.

Answered by: Edward Argar

Answered on: 27 October 2021

This information is not held in the format requested. The Department funds research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR does not categorise research studies by age group or by type of childhood cancer. In addition, not all studies research a specific condition but are aimed at prevention or to improve outcomes for multiple conditions.

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Written Question

Henry Smith

Asked on: 27 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the suitability of the new NHS England Quality of Life survey for people diagnosed with a less survivable cancer.

Answered by: Maria Caulfield

Answered on: 27 October 2021

All people with a cancer diagnosis, including those with a less survivable cancer, are invited to complete the Cancer Quality of Life Survey. This is an initiative aimed specifically at supporting long term survivorship. For cancer patients who sadly do not survive for 18 months from diagnosis other approaches to assessing their experience, such as the Cancer Patient Experience Survey, will be more appropriate

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Written Question

Gregory Campbell

Asked on: 26 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made to encourage more high quality applications for funding into brain tumour research.

Answered by: Edward Argar

Answered on: 26 October 2021

In May 2018 the Government announced £40 million over five years for brain tumour research as part of the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). We are relying on researchers to submit high-quality fundable research applications in a difficult area with a small research community. We have released a public announcement making clear our desire to receive funding applications. Working with the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission, we held customised workshops in October 2021 to support the research community in submitting more fundable research applications and we are funding training in research for specialist brain tumour oncologists. The NIHR has received 69 applications to date, of which 10 have already been successful with others still under consideration

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Written Question

Nadia Whittome

Asked on: 15 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made for the implications of his policies of the findings of the Level Up and Stop the Devastation Report from Brain Tumour Research on creating a dedicated levelling up brain tumour research fund.

Written Question

Nadia Whittome

Asked on: 15 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve outcomes for brain tumour patients.

Oral Question

Lord Hunt 

Asked on: 29 September 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish a strategy for the (1) prevention, and (2) treatment, of brain tumours in children and young adults, and (3) aftercare for such people.

Answered by: Lord Kamall

Answered on: 29 September 2021

NHS England has no plans to do so.Services for the treatment of brain tumours in children and young adults falls under NHS England 's direct commissioning responsibilities for specialised services . The NHS Long Term Plan includes a number of commitments for improving the outcomes and experience of children, teenagers and young adults with cancer including: implementing networked care; simplifying pathways and transitions between service; ensuring that every patient has access to specialist care and increasing participation in clinical research.

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Written Question

Lord Hunt

Asked on: 15 September 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to produce a strategy for the transition to adult care of children with autism who have brain tumours, and (2) to review the age classification for when people with autism are considered to be young...

Oral Question

Anum Qaisar-Javed

Asked on: 15 September 2021

September marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Every day across the UK, 12 children and young people will be diagnosed with cancer, and, of those, two will not survive. My constituent Nadia Majid and her family are campaigning to improve research and funding in this field. Nadia’s son, Rayhan, was only four years old when he was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour. Rayhan tragically passed away only four months after his diagnosis. Will the Prime Minister join me in thanking all the doctors, nurses and support staff who work tirelessly to fight against childhood cancer and meet with me to discuss how the four nations can work together to improve research and funding into childhood cancers and to support families like Nadia’s?

Answered by: Boris Johnson, Prime Minister

Answered on: 15 September 2021

I know that the hon. Lady echoes the thoughts of millions of people. There is not a family in this country that has not been touched by cancer. Childhood cancer is particularly tragic, which is why the Government are investing huge sums in research and also in supporting some of the fantastic charities that she mentions, particularly those investigating brain cancers.

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Written Question

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

Asked on: 13 September 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish a strategy for the (1) prevention, and (2) treatment, of brain tumours in children and young adults, and (3) aftercare for such people.

Oral Question

Thangam Debbonaire 

Asked on: 8 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of the use of personalised vaccines as a treatment for brain tumours.

Answered by: Maria Caulfield, MP

Answered on: 21 September 2021

At present, no vaccine therapies are licensed for use as a treatment for brain cancer. Such treatments are used within either experimental or early stage trial settings, therefore they are not routinely available to patients.

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Written Question

Emily Thornberry

Asked on: 6 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with his Cabinet colleagues on improving the availability of and access to clinical trials in the UK for families affected by brain and childhood cancers.

Answered by Jo Churchill MP

Answered on: 6 September 2021

The Secretary of State has not had any specific conversations with Cabinet colleagues on improving the availability of and access to clinical trials in the United Kingdom for families affected by brain and childhood cancers. We are determined to make it as easy as possible for the public to identify the availability of, and access to, research happening across the country, including brain and childhood cancers, and enable them to take part. We have launched the “Be Part of Research” study search application and website, which helps people to find out about health research, including clinical trials, of interest to them.

We are also working with the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission to increase high quality brain tumour research.

 

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Written Question

Emily Thornberry

Asked on: 6 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to build on the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement in promoting future collaborations between UK-based and EU-based medical researchers, including for research into brain tumours and childhood cancers.

Answered by Edward Argar MP

Answered on: 6 September 2021

As part of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the United Kingdom (UK) has agreed to associate with Horizon Europe, furthering the UK’s ambition to become a global science superpower. Our participation will support continued partnerships between UK and European Union’s (EU) science and research experts and provide a platform through which our scientists and innovators can tackle significant and shared challenges. This includes medical research into cancers given that research and innovation on cancer, including childhood cancers, remains a high priority for the EU. The UK has an excellent track record in EU Framework Programmes and we are actively encouraging UK researchers and innovators to form consortia with their UK and EU partners and are encouraging UK researchers and companies to take advantage of this opportunity

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Question

David Simmonds

Asked on: 4 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to (a) promote collaborative working between (i) the National Institute for Health Research, (ii) UK Research and Innovation, (iii) Cancer Research UK, (iv) the Medical Research Council, the (v) Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission and (vi) other relevant brain tumour research stakeholders and (b) award funding to advance the research being undertaken on brain tumours and brain tumour treatment.

Answered by Edward Argar MP

Answered on: 15 March 2021

The Department supported the establishment of the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (TJBCM) in 2018. The TJBCM is a national convening body for all stakeholders engaged in brain tumour research, treatment and care. Its mission is to unite professional, patient, charity and Government groups to share information, and establish transformative programmes that will lead ultimately to a cure for brain tumours.

Active contributors to the TJBCM include the Department’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, Brain Tumour Research, the Brain Tumour Charity and Brainstrust as well as representatives of the National Health Service. As part of the establishment of the TJBCM the Department announced £40 million over five years for brain tumour research via the NIHR. The NIHR is also engaging with UK Research and Innovation colleagues.

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Written Question

Hilary Benn MP

Asked on: 3 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the merits of repeated DWP assessments where an individual applicant has had a (a) brain tumour or (b) severe head injury when there is no evidence that the person’s condition will improve.

Answered by Colleen Fletcher MP

Answered on: 8 March 2021

In both Work Capability Assessments (WCA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments, healthcare professionals advise on a review period that is appropriate to the individual claimant. In the WCA, if a claimant has a condition that causes severe functional impairment and there is no realistic prospect of recovery of function they can be placed in the severe conditions group and would not be routinely reassessed. In PIP, claimants receiving the highest level of benefit whose functional ability will not improve will receive an ongoing award with a light touch review at the 10-year point. The up-coming Health and Disability Green Paper will focus on how we can make further improvements to assessments and seek views on future changes

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Question

Hilary Benn

Asked on: 10th February 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the latest research findings from research funded by his Department into glioma cancer have shown; and if he will make a statement.

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