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

British Neuro-Oncology Society Conference 2018

The British Neuro-Oncology Society (BNOS) annual conference (held 1 - 3 July in Winchester this year) provides top UK researchers and clinicians with an opportunity to share breakthroughs and best practice as they strive for improved care and outcomes for patients.

This year's conference showcased new horizons in brain tumour research with the latest surgical techniques, as well as presentations including cannabinoids, gene therapy and Tumour Treating Fields technology (as used by Dame Tessa Jowell).

Prof Garth Cruickshank delivered an overview of the new NICE guidelines for the treatment of primary brain tumours and brain metastases in adults, and the theme of shared decision making ran through each day of the conference. Quality of life, supportive and palliative care was high on the agenda and the balance that needs to be struck between treatment, risks and benefits openly discussed. 

There were lively debates when examples of complex cases were thrown open for the audience to consider – a brilliant way of sharing knowledge – whilst highlighting areas where research is needed to gather stronger evidence on which to base clinical decisions. With the UK’s first Proton Beam Therapy Centre soon to open in Manchester, evidence was also presented that will inform both research and future policy about which tumour types will benefit most from this form of radiotherapy. 

The gathering and sharing of data analysed by increasingly complex software was presented in a number of different contexts, from genetic profiling of tumours to interpreting scans. Brain Tumour Research member charity brainstrust are leading the way in the utilising of patients’ clinical data with their Get Data Out campaign, in partnership with NHS England, that will help to inform our future campaigns.

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