Why We Campaign
National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £30-35 million a year
It is time brain tumour research received its fair share. Investing in a cure is the only way to finally defeat this devastating disease.
Invest In A Cure manifesto
Ahead of the 2015 General Election, we launched our first 'Invest in a Cure' manifesto at a landmark event in Speaker’s House on 17th March 2015.
Joined by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow, and our incredible celebrity supporter Sheila Hancock CBE, the event was a huge success, with Brain Tumour Research taking the lead to influence change in brain tumour research policy amongst all the UK’s political parties.
Treatments for brain tumour patients lag seriously behind other cancers. The national investment in brain tumour research needs to increase to £30-£35 million each year over the course of the next parliament.
For this current Parliament, 2015-2020, we set out three key priorities for the UK Government and its partner organisations:
1) Increase Funding – Shine a spotlight on research funding for brain tumours
- Increase the investment for research into brain tumours to bring it to the same level for cancers such as breast and leukaemia in order to see the same advances in treatments.
- Devote an absolute amount to brain tumour research. The House of Commons’ Petitions Committee recommended that the Government should not leave cancer charities to tackle brain tumours alone. Government has a vital role in both funding research and setting priorities.
- Establish a programme whereby the current level of EU research funding is at least maintained.
- Establish new criteria against which research bodies should prioritise cancer research funding, referencing concepts such as years of life lost, survival rates and historic underfunding.
- Prioritise reducing deaths in the under 75s. The fight against brain tumours is part of the solution to the challenge of improving health outcomes as people grow older.
- Prioritise treatments for those cancers affecting younger patients. Brain tumours continue to significantly affect young people and their families.
- Introduce a sustainable solution for access to new cancer drugs, given the chronic shortage of brain tumour drugs.
- Channel investment into research and the repurposing of drugs to bring more effective treatments to brain tumour patients at a faster rate.
3) Facilitate innovation – Ring-fence funds for brain tumour research
- Create a national register of all site-specific cancer research to track all research work, grants and results and prevent duplication.
- Ensure that statistics pertaining to secondary brain tumours are adequately recorded and that benign and low-grade brain tumours are identified with new data collection protocols.
- Support young scientists, so that they can continue to pursue their specialist neuro-oncology research interests and enable the UK to build a critical mass of neuro-oncology expertise, making the UK a world leader in this field.
- Increase the number of tenure-track positions focused on neuro-oncology research.
Download a copy of our ‘Invest In A Cure’ manifesto here.
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National Funding Reports
Here at Brain Tumour Research, we shine a spotlight by publishing pioneering reports revealing the true statistics surrounding brain tumours in the UK.
Many of the facts, numbers and percentages used today by many parties, including other charities and official bodies, were first collated and publicised by us.
In October 2016, we published the latest in a series of landmark National Research Funding Reports, addressing the historic underfunding of brain tumour research.
Every two hours, someone is diagnosed with a brain tumour in England. Our report reveals a shocking 'postcode lottery' of diagnosis around the country, with the North East and South East both witnessing a 40% rise in brain tumour cases between 2011 and 2014, closely followed by London at 35%.
Our report describes the stark inequalities in cancer research funding, which correlate tragically to poor survival rates for brain tumour patients. Fewer than 20% of brain tumour patients survive beyond five years of their diagnosis, whereas 86% of breast cancer and 51% of leukaemia patients survive beyond five years.
The low survival rate for brain tumour sufferers is largely attributable to these inequalities in research funding. For every leukaemia death, £8,759 is spent on research, compared with only £1,858 on brain tumour research.
The burden of increasing funds for research has fallen heavily on charities. In 2015, charities funded 86% of the national research into brain tumours. Our 2016 report reveals - for the first time - that the Government spend on brain tumour research represented just 0.52% of its total spend on cancer research in 2015.
Read our full report online, or download it as a PDF here.
Our first revelatory report was published in July 2009. Titled ‘The Inequality of Funding’, it was the first of its kind to reveal some of the hard facts surrounding brain tumours.
Our report in March 2013, titled ‘Brain Tumour Research - Funding Flows’, developed in partnership with New Philanthropy Capitol, revealed new insights into the chronic lack of funding coupled with an alarming increase in brain tumour mortality rates.
In July 2013, we published a ground-breaking report on the state of ‘National Research Funding for Brain Tumours’.
At the time, this was the most comprehensive analysis ever published by a national charity for brain tumours and was picked up by national and regional media as a major news story.
On the 1st of July 2014, we published a Report Update on National Research Funding, a companion volume to our 2013 report. This update presents stark new facts about brain tumours.
We understand the power of statistics.
That's why we leave no stone unturned when it comes to the latest analysis surrounding the devastating impact of brain tumours in the UK.
The statistics we have unearthed speak for themselves. Something has to be done.
- Too many people are being faced with the devastating diagnosis each year – every two hours, someone is diagnosed with a brain tumour in England.
- Less than 20% of brain tumour patients survive beyond five years of their diagnosis, whereas 86% of breast cancer and 51% of leukaemia patients survive beyond five years.
- Brain tumours are the chief cause of cancer deaths in children and young people. In 2015, the number of children dying from cancer was 194, with brain tumours taking 67 young lives and leukaemia 46.
- Brain tumours continue to kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. Brain tumours deaths are rising, representing 2.6% of all deaths from cancer.
- In 2015, £8,759 was spent on leukaemia research for each death, compared with only £1,858 for brain tumours.Brain tumour research represents just 1.37% of national spend on cancer.
- At the current rate of spend, it could take 100 years for brain cancer to catch up with developments in other diseases and find a cure.
- Awareness of the devastation caused by brain tumours is low. Less than 10% of people in the UK know that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.
Brain Tumour Research is campaigning to see the national spend on brain tumour research increased to £30 - £35 million a year, in line with breast cancer and leukaemia, in order to advance treatments and, ultimately, fund a cure for this devastating disease.
Please see our latest report for more about these shocking statistics.Read more Show less