New hope for brain tumour campaigners
There is an air of anticipation in the run up to the next meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on brain tumours, due to take place in Westminster on Monday 10th July.
This, the first meeting of the group since the snap election, is also expected to herald the next milestone in cancer research. The findings of the Government’s year-long Task and Finish Working Group, convened to tackle the historic underfunding for research into brain tumours, are expected in the early Autumn. The Task and Finish Working Group was established following a “damning” House of Commons Petitions Committee’s report last year, which highlighted that “successive governments have failed brain tumour patients and their families for decades”. Campaigners are hoping that the eventual report from the Task and Finish Working Group will demonstrate that the Government is now prepared to show fresh commitment to improve outcomes for brain tumour patients.
Outgoing All-Party Parliamentary Group chair Rebecca Harris, MP for Castle Point in Essex, said: “It is essential that the UK leads the way in investing in research into brain tumours. There is currently not enough investment into treatments and the basic understanding of this awful disease; the UK should embrace funding and new ways of fighting this disease.” Rebecca was inspired to campaign on this issue after the tragic loss of 11-year-old Danny Green, who lived in her constituency.
Prospective new chair, Derek Thomas, MP for St Ives, asked a question on this issue at Prime Minister’s Questions during Brain Tumour Awareness Month, in March this year. Mr Thomas noted that “brain tumour research receives only about 1% of all cancer research funding, despite this being the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40” and challenged Theresa May on what more can be done to increase funding for brain tumour research.
Alistair Carmichael, MP for Orkney and Shetland, who has also raised this issue during an earlier Prime Minister’s Questions, is proposed as a new Officer of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on brain tumours.
Sue Farrington Smith MBE, Chief Executive of the charity Brain Tumour Research , has provided the secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group since 2005, when it was first set up under Rt Hon John Bercow MP. Mrs Farrington Smith said: “The All-Party Parliamentary Group on brain tumours was established to tackle decades of underfunding for research. Even now, less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years, compared with an average of 50% across all cancers.
“This will be our most optimistic meeting yet. Following dedicated, high-profile campaigning on this issue, we are getting ever closer to increased investment in research. We were very encouraged to see Cancer Research UK announce a new multi-million-pound investment in brain tumour research, to add to the exceptional contribution of the Brain Tumour Research Centres of Excellence. This could be a game-changing year ahead, offering new hope to brain tumour patients and their families.”
For further information, please contact:
Caroline Marrows at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867221 or 07714 743764 or Caroline@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.