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Press release

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

Widow visits Westminster to hear of momentous year for brain tumour community

Widow visits Westminster to hear of momentous year for brain tumour community

A bereaved wife, whose husband died 18 months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour, has attended a committee meeting at Westminster as MPs and clinicians reviewed a year of momentous progress.

Gill Graham travelled from her home in Hughenden Valley for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours (APPGBT) at the House of Commons on Tuesday 17th July. 

She was among families, patients, clinicians, carers, scientists, and MPs, at the event as the group set out priorities for the forthcoming parliamentary year. They heard that the APPGBT would drive forward recommendations of an inquiry into the social and economic impacts of brain tumours when it reports in the autumn.

Among the speakers was Sue Farrington Smith, Chief Executive of the Brain Tumour Research charity, who said: “We are proud to have played a key role as the APPGBT has campaigned for change over 12 years. We now look forward to the inquiry report as well as continuing to see the impact of the newly-formed Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission along with new funding commitments and other initiatives announced this year.”

Andy Graham, a father-of-two, was diagnosed with a haemangioblastoma but despite the tumour’s classification as ‘low-grade’, Andy suffered unimaginable trauma and distress before his death 18-months later. Since Andy’s death, his wife Gill and sons Oliver, aged 15, and Dan, 13, have set out to raise awareness of brain tumours which kill more children and adults under the age of 40 that any other cancer.

Gill said: “Andy will never see our boys grow up, share their future, either by marriage, children or achievements, and the impact to our lives has been devastating. We must continue to fight for increased funding for research into brain tumours as this is the only way of improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.”


For further information, please contact:
Farel Williams at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867221 or 07592 502708


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 basic research groundwork 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).

We are supporting the crucial APPGBT 2018 Inquiry into the economic and social impacts of brain tumours and will publish their report in the autumn. We are also a key influencer 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
  • 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

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