National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £30-35 million a year
Major investment to create new radiotherapy treatments
The UK is set to revolutionise radiotherapy treatment for all cancer patients following a major investment by Cancer Research UK (CRUK), announced today.
A new programme of radiotherapy research is planned following a £56m injection designed to create a network of expertise, ushering in a new range of radiological techniques for patients.
The project could position the UK as a leader in innovative and pioneering use of this type of therapeutic technology, enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI) and designed to create tailored treatments based on individual patients’ data. This could improve treatment accuracy and open up new hope for patients.
Research areas will likely include FLASH radiotherapy – high-doses of radiation applied through split-second delivery, which is more targeted and considered less damaging.
Developing the, already highly-publicised, proton beam therapy will also be key. As a major development for brain tumour patients living in England, the first NHS proton beam therapy centre opened at The Christie in Manchester in December 2018. Further centres are planned and this new radiotherapy project will no doubt seek to improve their offering even further.
Entitled RadNet, CRUK’s project is designed to "accelerate the development of advanced radiotherapy techniques, challenging the boundaries of this mainstay treatment through world-first exploratory projects".
RadNet plans to unite seven centres of excellence across the country: the Universities of Cambridge, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Oxford, the Cancer Research UK City of London Centre, and The Institute of Cancer Research, London in partnership with The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.
We welcome this news from CRUK – any investment that offers new hope for improved treatments for brain tumour patients is excellent. However, we still need to keep up the pressure to invest more in discovery science which will lead to curative treatments.
Brain Tumour Research is determined to focus on this.
We are building a network of experts in sustainable research and our plan has always been to establish dedicated Centres of Excellence around the UK, whilst influencing the Government and larger cancer charities, such as CRUK, to invest more nationally.
We are the only national charity in the UK that is dedicated to raising funds for continuous and sustainable scientific research into brain tumours and we are a leading voice calling for greater support and action for research into what scientists are calling the last battleground against cancer.
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