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

Clinical Trials Day

Today is Clinical Trials Day which recognises and thanks the people who conduct clinical trials every day to improve public health, as well as being an opportunity to raise awareness of clinical trials – and of clinical research as a career option – among the greater public.

James Lind started what is often considered the first randomised clinical trial aboard a ship on 20th May 1747. At that time, scurvy is thought to have killed more British seamen than French and Spanish arms.

Aboard his ship, surgeon mate James Lind, a pioneer of naval hygiene and acting on a hunch that scurvy was caused by putrefaction of the body that could be cured through the introduction of acids, recruited 12 men for his “fair test.”

Lind allocated two men to each of six different daily treatments for a period of 14 days. The six treatments included: 1.1 litres of cider; half a pint of sea water; and two oranges and one lemon. Those allocated citrus fruits experienced “the most sudden and good visible effects”, according to Lind’s report on the trial.

In 2022, clinical trials remain as vital to progress as ever, but they come toward the end of a translational pipeline that begins on the scientist’s bench. As stated in our 2019 Manifesto

“The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has previously reported that only 6.4% of brain tumour patients are participating in clinical trials compared to 13.3% for breast cancer and 61.4% for leukaemia. We support the ambition for at least 15% of brain tumour patients to be participating in clinical trials by 2025.”

Whatever ambition we might have to get more brain tumour patients onto clinical trials is fundamentally underpinned by appropriate funding for early stage science, because without that there will be no throughput of new developments and trials will cease.

We cannot let that happen and that is why Brain Tumour Research is, and will always be, a research funding and campaigning charity with a vision to find a cure for all brain tumours.

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