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Press release

Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years

Cambridge neurosurgeon awarded Brain Tumour Research honour

Cambridge neurosurgeon awarded Brain Tumour Research honour

A neurosurgeon from Cambridge has won a prestigious honour which will help him progress his work to find a cure for brain tumours.

Harry Bulstrode has been named Young Investigator of the Year by the British Neuro-Oncology Society (BNOS). He was awarded the £2,000 prize as scientists at the forefront of global research into the disease met in Edinburgh (June 21 – 23).

Mr Bulstrode, 34, is an Academic Clinical Lecturer in neurosurgery at the University of Cambridge and combines clinical training at Addenbrookes Hospital with research interests in the biology, and technologies for improving surgical techniques for the removal of, brain tumours.

Having completed his PhD at the University of Edinburgh, Mr Bulstrode, the father of two young children, was back in the city this week to receive the award and to present his work to scientists from across the world who are focused on improving outcomes for brain tumour patients.

Delegates from across the UK, Italy, Germany, Canada, USA, Denmark, Bangladesh, India, Israel, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan were in Edinburgh for the annual conference BNOS.

Mr Bulstrode said: “Despite all that we have achieved in neurosurgery, brain tumours are one of the areas least satisfactorily addressed by surgery. Even with the best possible operation patients with high grade tumours may find their life expectancy is improved by just months, or a few years at the most.

“This award will enable me to travel to international conferences and present my work which is looking at how virus therapies can be used to treat glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumours. This includes the possibility that the Zika virus could hold the key to finding a cure for this devastating disease as, unlike other treatments, it can pass through the blood-brain barrier which acts as a filter to protect the brain.”

Mr Bulstrode was selected by A BNOS review panel which included Dr Kieran Breen, Director of Research at Brain Tumour Research. Dr Breen said: “The work being conducted by Mr Bulstrode and his team is extremely exciting and has already attracted interest from around the world. We are proud to be able to support him with the Young Investigator Award.

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, so this area of research has very real potential impact for patients. Working together with charities and the Government, we areleading the way in enhancing both research and clinical practice.”

The conference also saw Professor Silvia Marino, of Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), named as the society’s first female President. Prof. Marino is Professor of Neuropathology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry at QMUL    and also Honorary Consultant Neuropathologist at Barts Health NHS Trust. Her team of researchers, focusing on GBM, has been supported by the charity Brain Tumour Research since 2014.

For further information, please contact:

Susan Castle-Smith at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867206 or 07887 241639 or

Notes to Editors

Brain Tumour Research is the only national charity in the UK focused on funding sustainable research to find a cure for brain tumours. We are building a game-changing network of world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. Embracing passionate member charities nationwide, £5.5 million was raised towards research and support during 2016.

We are campaigning to see the national spend on research into brain tumours increased to £30 - £35 million a year, in line with breast cancer and leukaemia. The charity is celebrating a year of high-profile campaigning on this issue following the unprecedented success of its petition in 2016. Following that, Brain Tumour Research is now taking a leading role in the Government’s Task and Finish Working Group convened to tackle the historic underfunding for research.

Key statistics on brain tumours:

  • Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer
  • They kill more children than leukaemia
  • They kill more men under 45 than prostate cancer
  • They kill more women under 35 than breast cancer
  • Just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease
  • In the UK 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour
  • Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers
  • Incidences of, and deaths from, brain tumours are increasing.

Please quote Brain Tumour Research as the source when using this information. Additional facts and statistics are available from our website including our latest Report on National Research Funding. We can also provide case-studies and research expertise for media.