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

New funding for the Cancer Drugs Fund

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Yesterday the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced an extremely welcome increase in the budget for the Cancer Drugs Fund. The Government has pledged an extra £160 million to the programme, increasing the annual spend from £200 million to £280 million until March 2016. This is brilliant news for patients and campaigners for all cancers as this money will help to fund the treatment for patients who are in most need of radical treatments.

The Cancer Drugs Fund was created by the Coalition in 2010 to improve cancer services. It enables patients to have access to drugs not yet approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, or not regularly provided by the NHS. So far the fund has helped 55,000 patients in England to receive cutting-edge treatment by making new and innovative treatments cost effective. The scheme has been a success and we hope that it continues to provide cutting-edge treatment for those cancers where mortality rates have increased over the past 10 years.

Rarer cancers such as brain tumours require innovation. The Government should ensure the necessary funding for research and treatment. We urge the Government to ensure that the Cancer Drugs Fund is the beginning of series of initiatives (including a focus on cancer deaths in under 75s and increased research spending for brain tumours) aimed at reducing mortality rates of cancers.

Please join our cause and let the Government know that more needs to be done to fight brain tumours by signing our E-Petition.

The list of drugs currently available through the fund can be viewed here.

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New Figures From CRUK

Brain Tumour ResearchSome encouraging news has appeared in many newspapers and media outlets today with the new figures from Cancer Research UK showing that deaths from the most common cancers have dropped by a third over the past 20 years.  The cancers involved are breast, bowel, lung and prostate.  This is fantastic news and shows the focus on these cancers has had the desired result as research money and awareness initiatives have led to new drugs and other innovative forms of treatment.

It also demonstrates why we need to continue the fight to raise awareness of brain tumours and the need for research money for this deadly form cancer to match the amounts for the more high profile forms of the disease.  The results speak for themselves.

While breast, bowel, lung and prostate cancers account for almost half of all cancer deaths, brain tumours kill the most young people.  Brain tumours kill more children and adults under 40 than any other cancer.  While every cancer death is a tragedy – to lose a young son or a daughter (or any other relative) is an unique devastating experience as many Brain Tumour Research supporters will tell you.  That is why it is simply wrong that just 1% of all national spend on cancer research goes on brain tumours and is why we will never give up our fight!

So yes – lots done and a big well done from Brain Tumour Research on breast, bowel, lung and prostate cancer – but so much more to do on the young person’s cancer, brain tumours.

Please join the fight and sign our petition - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55378

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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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