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Press release

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

Leading neuroscientists meet in Portsmouth

Aug 31, 2017

Scientists at the forefront of research to find a cure for brain tumours are meeting in Portsmouth this week.

Professor Geoff Pilkington, Director of the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at the University of Portsmouth, is hosting a symposium for researchers working to better understand the blood brain barrier. Getting new or repurposed drugs across the barrier, which is formed by a specialised arrangement of cells and proteins constituting the blood vessels within the brain, is a critical element of our research into discovering new approaches to treating brain tumours.

Prof Pilkington and his team created the first all-human model of the blood brain barrier and he will be among those sharing research updates at the 7th UK & Ireland Early Career Blood Brain Barrier Symposium which takes place at the university on Friday 1st September.

The event provides a unique platform for researchers at an early stage in their careers and includes keynote speakers Maria Tenje, Associate Professor of Microsystems Technology at Uppsala University and Lund University, and Huw Thomas from laboratory equipment supplier Baker Ruskinn.

Prof Pilkington said: “The purpose of the blood brain barrier is to protect the brain from toxins but this also means it can prevent certain drugs, which have already been shown to be of value for treating other types of cancer, from entering the brain thus rendering them ineffective for malignant brain tumours.

“The symposium is aimed at sharing knowledge and encouraging early career researchers. This will help ensure sustainable research which is vital if we are to find cures for brain tumours and other diseases affecting the brain.”

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. Brain Tumour Research funds a network of Centres of Excellence, including its flagship in Portsmouth, where scientists are focused on improving treatments and, ultimately, finding a cure.

 

For further information, please contact:
Susan Castle-Smith at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867206 or 07887 241639 or Susan@braintumourresearch.org

 

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.

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