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If only brain tumour research could be funded in the same way as leukaemia and other cancers

Response to Dementia Funding Guarantee

We welcome David Cameron’s announcement today a £100 million guarantee of funding for research into treatment for dementia. Following the 2013’s G8 commitment to develop a cure for dementia by 2025, Mr Cameron attended a London summit and reaffirm his commitment to this goal and call for a united global effort. Through cheaper, streamlined clinical trials, earlier access for patients to drugs and improved incentives for investment, it is believed that a cure for dementia will be found.

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The Government’s commitment to tackle dementia is essential. We believe that this support highlights our central message: that without the necessary money for research, any disease, be it brain cancer or dementia, cannot be cured. Research is the only way to find the treatments and drugs that will cure the diseases that account for thousands of lives a year in the UK and yet there are diseases, most notably brain tumours, which do not receive the funding they need to move therapies forward.

The number of deaths caused by brain cancer in the last decade has increased, peaking at 3,443 people in 2012. Despite this, and despite the fact it is the largest cancer killer of children and adults under 40, research into a cure receives only £4.9 million a year from NCRI members. Brain tumours need a similar Government commitment to that given to dementia research, a commitment to spend the level of money needed to save the lives of thousands of men, women and children a year.

We need your help to let the Government know that change to research funding is needed. You can do this by signing and sharing our E-Petition with your family, friends and colleagues, as well as writing to your local MP, making them aware of the current state of research funding.

Link to E-Petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55378

Link to Brain Tumour Research Report: http://www.braintumourresearch.org/uploads/document/BrainTumourResearchNationalFundingReportJuly_2013draft9_897.pdf

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David Willetts MP Announces £48 Million in Health Research Funding

On Monday, David Willetts MP announced £48 million of investment into health research projects in a speech at Bournemouth University. Willetts, the Minister of State for Universities and Science, has pledged funding to a number of projects, including Alzheimer’s and cancer, through the Biomedical Catalyst Scheme.

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The cancer project will investigate the possible use of ultrasound to force cancer treating drugs deeper into tumours, hopefully making them more potent. We hope that the projects produce fantastic results but are concerned that research into brain tumours could potentially be overlooked by the Government and the Medical Research Council, who run the Biomedical Catalyst Scheme.

With an increasing number of deaths in the last decade, peaking at 3,443 people in 2012, and a research community in the UK that only receives £4.9 million from NCRI members, brain tumours are in desperate need of more funding. When added to this you consider the fact that due to the ‘blood-brain barrier’ more general cancer research is often incompatible with finding potential brain tumour cures, the case for added investment in brain tumours becomes even more compelling.

We need your help to let Mr Willetts and the rest of Government know that research funding into cancer needs to change. Sign our e-petition today and share it with your friends and family. Together we can save lives!

Link to E-Petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55378

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Reaction to Cancer52 Report Showing Percentage of Cancer Deaths Outside the Big Four Rising to 54%

New data compiled by Cancer52’s Data Report shows that less common and rare cancers, including brain tumours, now make up 54% of all cancer deaths. This is despite having only being under half (47%) of all the diagnoses. The Cancer 52 report says that this gap can be attributed to difficulties associated with diagnosis, as medical professionals will struggle to spot the less common symptoms of rarer cancers, as well as the large gulf in money devoted to research. We agree with Cancer52 that it is the money devoted to research that is the key factor in explaining this gulf in diagnoses and deaths, with the rarer cancers not receiving the money they need.

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The “big four” cancers (breast, prostate, lung and bowel) receive a vast amount of research funding, with breast cancer alone accounting for 8% of the total cancer spending in the UK in 2013. This research spending enables cutting edge treatment and drugs to be developed and given to patients, significantly improving chances of recovery and quality of life. Brain tumours are typical of less common cancers, with low survival rates and low research funding. As our 2013 report has shown, in 2013 only £4.9 million was spent on research into brain tumours, despite killing 3,443 people and having the highest percentage of cancer patients under 75 of any cancer.

This situation has to change, with the level of research funding reflecting the level of deaths in the under 75s and more money devoted to rarer and less common cancers. The Government needs to act and guarantee that brain tumour research receives a minimum of £30 million a year over the next 10 years. Without this level of investment the men, women and children diagnosed with brain tumours will not have the chance they deserve to beat this horrific disease.
We need your help to let the Government know that change to research funding is needed. You can do this by signing and sharing our E-Petition with your family, friends and colleagues, as well as writing to your local MP, making them aware of the current state of research funding.

Link to E-Petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55378

Link to Brain Tumour Research Report: http://www.braintumourresearch.org/uploads/document/BrainTumourResearchNationalFundingReportJuly_2013draft9_897.pdf

Link to Cancer52 Data Report: http://origin.library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1103464048926-551/Cancer52++NCIN+Data+Report+10th+June+2014+FINAL.pdf

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New Skin Cancer Drug Highlights Need For Increased Brain Tumour Funding

We would like to congratulate the research team behind Pembrolizumab, a new drug for skin cancer. Pembrolizumab is one of a new line of treatments called immunotherapy, which stop cancer cells protecting themselves from the immune system. Early projections suggest that this treatment can increase the one year survival rates for melanomas from just one in ten to almost three in four.

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The success of Pembrolizumab demonstrates what well-funded research can acheive. The key to improving survival rates and curing cancer are the treatments, and new treatments require investment in research. As our 2013 report has shown, almost £10 million was spent on research into melanoma and skin cancer in 2012 compared to £4.9 million spent on brain tumours, despite brain tumours killing 3,443 people and skin cancer less than 2,500.

Without change in the way research money is awarded, thousands of brain tumour patients in the UK will continue to die without being given the chance of a recovery that others have, and they deserve. The Government needs to ensure that brain tumour research receives considerably more funding so that, one day, we will be able to announce news like this

We need your help to let the Government know that they need to change the way research funds are allocated. You can do this by signing and sharing our E-Petition with your family, friends and colleagues, as well as writing to your local MP, making them aware of the current state of research funding.

Link to E-Petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55378

Link to Brain Tumour Research Report: http://www.braintumourresearch.org/uploads/document/BrainTumourResearchNationalFundingReportJuly_2013draft9_897.pdf

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NCRI Release Cancer Spend Data for 2013

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The National Cancer Research Institute released their annual data package on the 28th of March 2014, showing that the funding for research into brain tumours had increased compared to 2012, from £4.9 million to £6.8 million, now making up 1.4% of total spend. However, while this rise is welcome, it does not represent the size of increase of total spend that the fight against brain tumours needs.

Research into brain tumours was the 10th highest funded cancer research “site” with £6.8 million spent on research. As the largest cancer killer of children, with almost three quarters of brain tumour deaths in people under 75, and survival rates of just 13.5% over ten years this figure is shockingly low. This becomes even worse when the difference in spend between the top six cancers and brain tumours is analysed. The spending for breast cancer (£40.3 million), colorectal cancer (£25 million), leukaemia (£33.9 million), lung cancer (£14 million), ovarian cancer (£8.7 million) and prostate cancer (£22.2 million) dwarf the funding that brain cancer receives, despite the continuing rise in prevalence and the stationary survival rates of brain tumours that almost no other cancer has seen over the last 30 years.

The result of research into brain tumours being continually underfunded is that treatments will continue to lag behind those being developed and used in other cancers and, ultimately, thousands of patients in the UK will continue to die without being given the chance of a recovery that they deserve. Without increased funds in the field researchers with new, ground-breaking ideas will be deterred from working in brain tumour research simply due to the lack of funding opportunities.

This has to change. Brain Tumour Research are campaigning for a change in Government policy to research funding that will see a more equitable share of resources and a focus on preventing deaths in people under 75.

We cannot do this alone. We need your help to let the Government know that they need to change the way research funds are allocated. You can do this by signing and sharing our E-Petition with your family, friends and colleagues, as well as writing to your local MP, making them aware of the current state of research funding.

Link to E-Petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55378

Link to NCRI data: http://www.ncri.org.uk/what-we-do/research-database

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