Together we will find a cure Donate
Together we will find a cure Donate

Press release

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

Wife desperate for a cure attends UK Brain Tumour Symposium 2017

Wife desperate for a cure attends UK Brain Tumour Symposium 2017

A wife and mother, whose family has been devastated following the loss of her husband with an aggressive brain tumour last year, attended the UK Brain Tumour Symposium in Milton Keynes on Thursday, 12th October.

Carrie Holbrook of Great Paxton, St Neots, (formerly of Flitwick in Bedfordshire) was eager to hear about advances being made in the world of brain tumour research and support. Carrie lost her husband, Steve, aged 37, to a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour on 30th November 2016, just 21 months after diagnosis. Their children Emma and Mason were seven and four respectively. Steve had undergone brain surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but nothing could stop the growth of his tumour.

Carrie also took the opportunity to address the audience at the Symposium about how she lost her husband from this so far incurable form of cancer and how she welcomed any steps to provide greater support for families, as well as developments in treatment which might take the brain tumour community closer to a cure.

The UK Brain Tumour Symposium 2017 was jointly organised by two game-changing national charities Brain Tumour Research and brainstrust, which supports people living with a brain tumour throughout the UK.  Leading experts from many areas of brain tumour research were brought together to show the progress that is being made on many fronts to improve outcomes for people living with a brain tumour.

Director of Research at Brain Tumour Research, Dr Kieran Breen, delivered an informative speech, updating the delegates on innovative brain tumour treatments from around the world, while Consultant Neurologist, Dr Robin Grant from the Edinburgh Cancer Centre focused his talk on the top 10 priorities for research.

Founder and Director of Services at brainstrust, Helen Bulbeck, spoke eloquently about living well with a brain tumour, improving quality of life and supportive care, while Head of Public Affairs at Brain Tumour Research, Carrie Hume, demonstrated how the charity is working with Parliamentarians to influence cancer policy at the highest levels as it campaigns to increase national investment for research into brain tumours.

Carrie said: ““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.

“I am delighted that brainstrust and Brain Tumour Research have worked together to  present the UK’s first joint Brain Tumour Symposium, which aims to provide an educational, collaborative and transparent focus on the biggest issues facing the UK brain tumour community today and the specific advances that are being made.

“The UK Brain Tumour Symposium brought leading experts from brain tumour support and brain tumour research together. It gave people affected by brain tumours the chance to find out more about the progress and advances that are being made in many areas including brain tumour research, quality of life and living well.”

Carrie concluded: “It was comforting to hear that advances are being made, although any improvements in treatment are all far too late for Steve. I am determined to continue to raise awareness to help bring about better outcomes for patients so that other families in the future don’t have to go through what we have. Life will never be the same again without Steve. There will always be that part of our family missing and I won’t rest until there is a cure.”

A ball is being held at Wyboston Lakes in memory of Steve Holbrook on Saturday, 21st October to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research.


For further information, please contact:
Liz Fussey at Brain Tumour Research on 07811 068357 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
  • Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone, at any age
  • 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.

Donate today

Help us build the UK's largest network of experts in sustainable brain tumour research and campaign for more investment nationally. Together we will find a cure.