Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years
Guiseley sisters help fund scientists researching a cure for brain tumours
The daughters of a woman who died from a brain tumour are funding work to help find a cure for the disease.
Joanne Ross and Amanda Glover travelled from their homes in Guiseley to the Brain Tumour Research charity’s Research Centre of Excellence at Imperial College, London, to see how the funds they raised are helping scientists. They lost their mum Pamela Lupton, aged 73, less than two years after her diagnosis with an aggressive glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
Pamela, a retired medical secretary, underwent two operations, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Following her death, daughter Joanne went on to raise more than £4,000 towards research into the disease.
Joanne, aged 45, said: “The disease took hold of Mum so quickly, it was terrifying to witness and I can only imagine how terrifying it was for her to experience. I was shocked at how limited her options were and I soon realised that this is the case for thousands of other patients too.”
On Thursday 6 December, Joanne and Amanda were given a tour of the research facility at Hammersmith Hospital and heard from lead scientist Dr Nelofer Syed about the work taking place there. They met Kevin O’Neill, a leading neuro-surgeon at Charing Cross Hospital who told them about how the research work was being translated into new surgical tools, such as the iKnife, which can differentiate between tumour and normal brain cells during surgery.
Joanne continued: “I threw myself into fundraising after Mum died as I knew I needed to do something to improve this desperate situation for others. I organised a charity ball in her memory and I’m pleased to have raised more than £4,000 in the process but touring the lab at Imperial College has reminded me that there is still so far to go. I hope I can raise awareness and encourage others to get behind such an important cause.”
In recognition of the funds she raised in support of Brain Tumour Research, Joanne also placed a tile on the Wall of Hope at Imperial College where each tile represents the £2,740 it costs to fund a day of research.
Matthew Price, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Thank you to Joanne and Amanda for their ongoing support. They have raised a fantastic amount in Pamela’s memory and they have helped to fund the vital work taking place at our research centres.
“Pamela’s story reminds us that less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers. Despite this, historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. We cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.”
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated Centres of Excellence in the UK; it also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is calling for an annual spend of £35m in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.
For further information, please contact:
Farel James at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867221 or 07592 502708 or Farel.James@braintumourresearch.org
Notes to Editors
Brain Tumour Research is the only national charity in the UK dedicated to raising funds for continuous and sustainable scientific research into brain tumours, and we are a leading voice calling for greater support and action for research into what scientists are calling the last battleground against cancer.
We are building a network of experts in sustainable research at dedicated Centres of Excellence whilst influencing the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more nationally.
We welcome recent funding announcements for research into brain tumours from the UK Government and Cancer Research UK – £65 million pledged over the next five years. However, this potential funding of £13 million a year comes with a catch – money will only be granted to quality research proposals and, due to the historic lack of investment, there may not be enough of these applications that qualify for grants from this pot.
We want research funding parity with breast cancer and leukaemia. We are calling for a £30-35 million investment every year for research into brain tumours in order to fund the ground-breaking research needed to accelerate the translation from laboratory discoveries into clinical trials and fast-track new therapies for this devastating disease.
The Brain Tumour Research charity is a powerful campaigning organisation and represents the voice of the brain tumour community across the UK. We helped establish and provide the ongoing Secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Brain Tumours (APPGBT) which published its report Brain Tumours A cost too much to bear? in 2018. Led by the charity, the report examines the economic and social impacts of a brain tumour diagnosis. We are also a key player in the development strategy for the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission.
Key statistics on brain tumours:
- Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age
- Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer
- Historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours
- In the UK, 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour
- Brain tumours kill more children than leukaemia
- Brain tumours kill more men under 45 than prostate cancer
- Brain tumours kill more women under 35 than breast cancer
- Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers