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Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer

Back from hols, funding bodies and summer reading - our campaigning blog

by Hugh Adams

Amazingly a week on Tuesday MPs will be returning to Westminster after their summer break. The Lords have a day further to enjoy summer, although they did break up later, and, whilst the Scottish Government have been back for a while, Stormont is returning on the 7th with lucky Welsh Assembly members not returning until 14 September. A new Westminster session means another meeting of the APPG on brain tumours– and there will be a lot about that, including the date, when agreed, in future blogs. As always we will be asking our campaigners to request that their MPs attend the APPG and that is a good opportunity to let them know about the #braintumourpetition too!

I wanted to share news on meningioma research from our Plymouth Centre. Some you may already be aware of this from our Latest News post on Wednesday, and some of you will have read about it in my weekly worldwide research update. I send these updates out every Friday, like my campaigning update, and I if you would like to sign up to receive these as well please just drop me an email –

Linda Nolan and Bill Turnbull are among the celebrities with cancer who have joined NHS doctors in urging the public to come forward for important checks. The call comes after concerns were raised that people have delayed seeking help due to the coronavirus pandemic. We are happy to support the NHS’s “Help us to help you” campaign.

On Wednesday the Scottish Government announced a cancer recovery plan for services and patients in Scotland in the wake of the coronavirus. The plan will be launched in Autumn this year and will be informed by engagement with clinicians and stakeholder groups including the Scottish Cancer Coalition. As members of the Coalition Brain Tumour Research will be able to input meaningfully into this plan and ensure research is highlighted and accounted for. You can read the full press release here:

Following on from last week’s stuff about who is in our sights to lobby within Government I thought it might be helpful to provide a bit of information on a couple of really important Government bodies.

It was the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) who, in 2018 announced that £40 million was being made available for brain tumour research over the following five years (progress on that is a key part of the case for our petition).

This is how the NIHR describe themselves;

We are the nation's largest funder of health and care research and provide the people, facilities and technology that enables research to thrive. Working in partnership with the NHS, universities, local government, other research funders, patients and the public, we deliver and enable world-class research that transforms people's lives, promotes economic growth and advances science.”

What about the Medical Research Council (MRC)?

“The heart of our mission is to improve human health through world-class medical research. To achieve this, we support research across the biomedical spectrum, from fundamental lab-based science to clinical trials, and in all major disease areas. We work closely with the NHS and the UK Health Departments to deliver our mission, and give a high priority to research that is likely to make a real difference to clinical practice and the health of the population.”

This is all good then – two Government bodies who appear to be almost honour bound to support our vision to find a cure for brain tumours through dedicated scientific research. The role of both the NIHR and the MRC is therefore pivotal. It is our job, together – the Brain Tumour Research community and these Government bodies -, to make sure that brain tumour research is sustained, grows, develops and is empowered and enabled to deliver real change in the options and outcomes for those diagnosed with this uniquely complex and devastating disease.

Fancy some summer reading? Click the link to access our reading list – many of you will be aware of some of the authors, Henry Marsh probably being the best known. I recommend Jay Jayamohan and my great and much missed friend Martino Sclavi’s book “The Finch in my Brain”

One book that isn’t on the list but is a book that I will never forget reading is The Iceberg by Marion Coutts – I remember her reading from it at an event at our Imperial research centre. It is a book about loss and the destruction of a person so please don’t click through if this isn’t the right time for you to be reading this however if you feel you’d like to read more this is an extraordinary book.

Another book I whole heartedly can recommend is the remarkable and hope filled  The Breakthrough by Charles Graeber ( if you do decide to buy it do please remember to use Amazon Smile and benefit us )

I like to listen to music when reading if you do too why not check out our Summer of Songs playlist and feel free ( well not quite free, a donation would be appreciated!) to add your favourite tune.

If all that sitting around and reading and listening to music makes you ready a for some gentle exercise A walk maybe? How about a Walk of Hope?

So, some fundraising and research news mixed in with the campaigning stuff this week but it all goes hand in hand at Brain Tumour Research.

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