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

The final campaigning blog of 2020

by Hugh Adams

We begin the final update of 2020 with a question, thus far unanswered, from a great friend of the APPG on Brain Tumours, Jim Shannon MP who, on 7th December asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, “for what reason the National Institute for Health Research has approved only £6 million for brain tumour research this year; and if he will take steps to (a) increase funding in that area to ensure that adequate research is undertaken and (b) lower the threshold for funding approval to increase the body of research-based evidence.”

It is worth remembering that one of the achievements of 2020 was the uncovering of the £6 million figure Jim mentions above, and that that came from the July APPG meeting and will be a cornerstone of our campaigning in 2021

This week the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) published a new report reviewing several patient surveys to better understand patient’s willingness to take part in clinical research, and other barriers to recruitment during the pandemic.

You can read the report here; amrcopenresearch.org

Also published this week and available to view on the NHS England website is the National Cancer Recovery Plan which outlines actions for recovering cancer services post-pandemic.

So quite a year for all of us is drawing to a close. As brain tumour campaigners we can look back on three APPG meetings (two being virtual) in 2020, the mini-debate in the House of Lords following Lord O’Shaughnessy’s question, a Westminster Hall debate triggered by Fiona Govan’s e-petition, more engagement with politicians than ever before and more engagement with our fast-growing team of campaigners for change.

I have loved being at the centre of our campaigning and public affairs work since Nick moved on at the end of March.

Thank you all for your support and words of encouragement.

Last Saturday morning I received an email from a mother who four years ago lost her beautiful and talented daughter to a brain tumour. The email was supportive and helpful and concluded “Keep up the good work, Hugh, it’s our children and loved ones you’re fighting for and we appreciate all your efforts.”

I’m not ashamed to admit that sentiment bought a tear to my eye.

It has been my privilege to work with you over the past year, and the past decade, and as we look to 2021, I honestly believe working together we will influence real change to the funding of research, the impact on patients diagnosed with brain tumours and the route to the clinical trials that are the pathway to our vision - to find a cure for brain tumours.

My next campaigning update will be emailed out on Friday 8th and please do let me know if you’d like to receive them directly. I’m hugh@braintumourresearch.org Alternatively the update will be posted as a blog over that weekend.

… and please remember to support the #braintumourpetition wherever and whenever you can over the Christmas and New Year period.

Merry Christmas!

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