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

Brain Tumour Research responds to Government’s obesity strategy announcement

The Government’s new obesity strategy was heartily welcomed by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and heralded as a ‘landmark’  for the nation’s health. There is little doubt that maintaining a healthy weight is to be desired. However, Brain Tumour Research will always view with caution any blanket link between obesity and cancer. That is because brain tumours are indiscriminate and attack the fittest and healthiest among us with indifference. We have heard too many stories of a sudden glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) diagnosis following unexpected seizures that have left young and men and women with a heart-breaking prognosis and their friends and families in total bewilderment.

Emeritus Professor of Neurosurgery Garth Cruickshank, who is also Chair of the Brain Tumour Research Scientific and Medical Advisory Board (SMAB), said: “A case could be made for metastatic brain tumours being weight-related depending on the primary tumour site, breast, for example, however evidence would suggest that being overweight does not put you at greater risk of being diagnosed with a primary glioma. With meningiomas where incidence is more common in middle-aged females, there may be some degree of oestrogen elevation that can occur in obesity but there are no strong conclusions to be drawn here either.”

We remain in a position where not enough is known about the causality of brain tumours, because not enough is known about brain tumours, and the only way that will be rectified is sustainable funding into dedicated discovery science.

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