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

Crowdfunding cancer treatment to fill an unmet need

We were pleased to contribute to a health feature in today’s Daily Telegraph, which highlights the plight of desperate cancer patients, who turn to crowdfunding treatment. The article draws attention to an increase in online appeals, which increasingly offer a lifeline to people who find themselves with no further treatment options on the NHS.

In the article, by Jennie Agg, our spokesperson Hugh Adams, says: “It’s filling an unmet need. People are desperate for some hope, for anything they can try. And, really, the medical establishment is letting them down. With brain tumours especially there is a lack of options.”

Hugh also highlights concerns that alternative cancer therapies can open up new and lucrative revenue streams for con artists, who prey on the vulnerable: “When the NHS runs out of options, it does create a void – and sometimes into that void you will get less scrupulous clinics and snake-oil salesmen stepping in.”

Brain Tumour Research is striving for a reality where all suitable patients are able to be included in official clinical trials but we recognise that independent funding is often driven by a lack of patient treatment options.

Last month, teenager Lillie Cotgrove’s Facebook campaign to help schoolfriend Lily Whyte get last chance treatment for a DIPG brain tumour raised £230,000 in just a week, bringing the total with crowdfunding to £300,000.

Our congratulations go to Lillie and hearts go out to Lily and her family and we are also keen to stress that we desperately need to increase the investment in research into brain tumours, so that people don’t have to resort to raising hundreds of thousands of pounds to access treatment abroad. It’s only through research that we will find more effective treatments for brain tumour patients and, ultimately, a cure.

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