Together we will find a cure Donate
Together we will find a cure Donate

Why We Campaign

National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £30-35 million a year

For decades, research into brain tumours has been largely ignored by those who make decisions about health spending. We work hard to keep the issues surrounding brain tumours in the minds of politicians and health experts. 

Our campaigning priorities are

  • Increase funding – Shine a spotlight on research funding for brain tumours
  • Incentivise treatment – Prioritise brain tumour patients
  • Facilitate innovation – Ring-fence funds for brain tumour research

This will only be achieved with your help; your support gives us strength, your voice makes us louder and allows us to be heard. Together we will find a cure.

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.

2) Incentivise treatment – Prioritise brain tumour patients

  • 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 ResearchFunding 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 below, or download it as a PDF here.


Previous Reports

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.

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Help us build the UK's largest network of experts in sustainable brain tumour research and campaign for more investment nationally. Together we will find a cure.